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Upper Santa Margarita Irrigated Lands Group

 

August 4, 2017 UPDATE

Upper Santa Margarita Irrigated Lands Group

You may have heard by now that the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board is requiring all agricultural operations within its jurisdiction to abide by their General Order #R9-2016-004. This order is for production agriculture only. If you have only horses or confined animals you can ignore this notice.

The Upper Santa Margarita Irrigated Lands Group is a 501 3(c) non-profit organization that was formed in 2010 that has been reactivated and approved for third party group status with the regional board. Previously USMILG conducted all of the testing and reporting for its members during the previous Agricultural Waiver #4. USMILG is aligned with the Riverside County Farm Bureau, the largest farm organization in the county and a Farm Bureau membership will be required to join USMILG. Our Board is made up of all long time Riverside County growers. Testing and administration is very expensive, however due to the large amount of people like you that joined USMILG previously those costs were kept to a minimum. USMILG members stretch from Winchester to De Luz all the way to Anza to cover the most acreage possible and keep costs low.  The deadline to enroll in the group has been extended to August 31, 2017. After that date you can still enroll, however the regional board will be charging an extra $200. The fee to join the USMILG is $300 in addition to your Farm Bureau membership fee.

To enroll the first step is to join The Riverside County Farm Bureau. If you are a newcomer or left the group, that can be done online right here (click on Join Farm Bureau) and then send a check to USMILG for the enrollment fee to our current address at 33320 Temecula Pkwy. Temecula, CA 92592.  If you are a current Riverside County Farm Bureau member please send us your membership number along with the enrollment fee at the same address. Clearly there will be additional fees as we move into the near future to cover administration, testing and acreage fees charged by the state.

The final two steps are to fill out a Notice of Intent with the San Diego Regional Board.  That document can be found online at http://geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov/enoi/.  This document goes directly to the regional board so make a copy of it and send it to us so we can get it in your file.  The final step is to prepare a water quality protection plan for your ranch. We have included the pdf form that you can fill out and send to us to meet that requirement. Click here for PDF.

As you can imagine dealing with governmental agencies is never a pleasing proposition and this situation is no different.  We hope to make the process a little less painful. We look forward to hearing from you and becoming part of our group.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Steve Corona at stevec@usmilg.org.

A website for the USMILG is being restructured at this time. Once the website comes online, a link will be posted on this site.  Thank you for your patience.

 

July 2017 UPDATE: Compliance with the General Agricultural Orders by Commercial Agricultural Operations

Located in Southwest Riverside County

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region (RWQCB) sent notices out to commercial agricultural owners with a deadline of August 7th to be in compliance. The Riverside County Farm Bureau (RCFB) has received many emails and phone calls regarding this notice.

At the RCFB’s board meeting in June, the Upper Santa Margarita Irrigated Lands Group (USMILG) board requested that the RCFB assist in reforming and supporting that groups efforts to re-establish the USMILG. On a vote of 9-2 in favor of the USMILG’s request, the RCFB will move forward in supporting the USMILG’s board to re-establish its efforts to be the third-party group representing Riverside County growers in complying with the new order by the RWQCB.

During the week of July 10th, the RWQCB approved once again the USMILG as the third-party coalition for Riverside County growers. The RCFB and the USMILG have spoken with Mr. Barry Pulver at the RWQCB and has asked for an extension of the August 7th deadline. The RWQCB will not enforce their Ag Order until growers have had a chance to enroll in the USMILG. A new manager for the USMILG will be hired after July 26th.

Meanwhile, the USMILG will be seeking board replacements. If you wish to volunteer for the USMILG board, please email the RCFB with your name and contact information at president@riversidecfb.com.  

 

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