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Will Houston reports: Humboldt County accounted for the majority of 51 medical marijuana growers who have chosen to enroll in the North Coast’s mandatory water quality protection program that hopes to serve as a model for California.
As to whether this enrollment number met his expectations, water resource control engineer Kason Grady of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board said there are still several applications to be processed and assured they will have more growers signed up before and after the Monday deadline.
“There are thousands of growers in our region,” Grady said. “I think there is long way to go.”
The end of Monday marks the deadline for medical marijuana growers in the control board’s 10-county district — which stretches from the Oregon border to Santa Rosa — to sign up for the board’s Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program.
Adopted by the water board in August 2015, the program requires medical marijuana growers to comply with state and federal water quality laws pertaining to issues like drainage, road construction, fertilizer storage, water sediment and temperature control, and water diversions.
The program works by placing marijuana grows into tiers that are dependent on the size and qualities of the grow site.
Those at the lowest tier need only comply with standard conditions to be in the water board’s good graces. Those at the highest tier must develop and submit a cleanup and restoration plan for their site within a 45-day period among several other conditions.
Redcrest resident and medical marijuana farmer Sunshine Johnston has a 2,500-square-foot grow that also includes other produce. She enrolled in the program in November and was placed in the lowest tier.
Johnston said her situation is unique compared to other growers she knows of as she is right off a county-maintained road, has no stream crossings, does not use petroleum-based or synthesized fertilizers and grows organically.
“I don’t have any of that expensive stuff to fix,” she said. “I don’t say I have the same challenges as most landowners do.”
Johnston said the “green rush” of growers flowing into Humboldt County and other North Coast areas throughout the years led to several issues like illegally graded roads, poor fertilizer storage, and many other issues that have impacted water quality.Read more here:http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20160213/humboldt-marijuana-growers-lead-in-water-program-participation
In : Cannabis Regulation