Vineyard erosion rules effort restarts

[caption id="attachment_93808" align="aligncenter" width="500"] An irrigation water-saving workshop by Sonoma Resource Conservation District at Kunde Estate Vineyards on Aug. 12, 2011 (credit: Sonoma RCD)[/caption]

As state water-quality regulators prepare to try again this fall with a framework designed to control erosion into the Napa River and Sonoma Creek watersheds, winegrape growers in those areas are getting new tools to help prepare for the as-yet-undefined rules.

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board staff plan to issue notice by the end of June about the preparation of draft environmental-impact documents connected to general wastewater discharge requirements (WDRs) for vineyard operations in those watersheds, according to Naomi Feger, chief of the regional board's planning division.

"We will be looking at the regulations that exist in Napa and Sonoma (counties)," she said. "They will not be in conflict."Vineyard WDRs EIR scoping meeting

Time: Wednesday, July 23, 3--5 p.m.

Place: Napa County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, Ag/UC Conference Room, Soscol Professional Plaza, 1710 Soscol Ave., Ste. 3, Napa



The goal is to hold the first scoping meeting in Napa in mid-July then compile comments from that gathering and those received during the crafting of a conditional waiver of WDRs for vineyards in the two watersheds, an effort that ended in March of last year amid opposition. The current timeline is to release a draft environmental document for the vineyard WDRs in late fall and convene the first public hearings in the first quarter of next year, Ms. Feger said.

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