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Farmers have till Jan. 1 for ag waivers 

Local farmers and ranchers who own or operate irrigated land to produce commercial crops have until Jan. 1 to enroll in the ag waiver program. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) adopted the Conditional Waivers of Waste Discharge Requirements from Irrigated Lands (ag waiver) program on July 9.

The program involves education and outreach to growers regarding state water discharge regulations. Growers must also participate in cooperative or individual monitoring programs, complete a farm plan, and complete 15 hours of farm water-quality education.

The agricultural industry throughout the Central Coast, in cooperation with Central Coast Water Quality Preservation Inc. and the RWQCB, will provide growers, landowners, and resource personnel with more than 30 ag waiver outreach meetings between December 2004 and January 2005. Meetings will either focus on the completion of a farm plan or will provide the history, requirements, and enrollment information on the waivers.

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