Governor Brown’s budget proposes an increase of five new positions and $1 million for the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) Waste Discharge Permit Fund.
During the budget briefing conference call with state agencies, Western Growers’ staff questioned why the $1 million increase was necessary.
Since 2004, the governor’s budget has capped the ILRP budget at 23 positions; however, four other regions have also adopted ILRP programs, necessitating the need for a larger budget. Those regions are:
- Colorado River (R7);
- Santa Ana (R8);
- San Diego (R9); and
- San Francisco Bay (R2)
The $1 million budget increase for the additional positions will be collected from growers in these four regions as they enroll in the ILRP. However, it should be noted that if fund runs short, an increase may be assessed on agricultural entities across all regions to cover the costs.
The current positions are divided up by region and in the following way:
- Central Coast (R3): 2.2 positions;
- Central Valley (R5): 18.2 positions;
- Los Angeles (R4): 1 position; and
- State Water Board: 1.7 positions.
Growers currently pay .75 cents/acre for the 23 existing positions, an amount believed to be adequate to support the positions.
WG staff will continue to participate in the Water Quality Fee meetings with Water Board staff and will work diligently during the budget process to prevent any rate increases.
For more information, contact WG’s Gail Delihant at (916) 446-1435.