The California Legislature, State Water Resources Control Board, and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board are all in the process of formulating and implementing cannabis regulation. The Eel River Recovery Project is not involved in permitting and regulation, but we provide this information to farmers on processes currently underway that may affect them.
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is an autonomous agency that protects water resources from pollution in a large region extending north from Santa Rosa to the Oregon border. They have arrived at the conclusion that there are unacceptable cumulative effects of cannabis cultivation (link to 130611_MarijuanFactSheet.pdf) that are leading to decreased stream flow, increased water temperatures, and nutrient enrichment that promotes noxious algae blooms. The North Coast Board recently approved a Waiver of Waste Discharge for Cannabis Cultivation with the intention of bringing pollution under control and helping establish a cannabis industry that allows beneficial uses of water bodies in the region to be maintained. By February 15, 2016 cultivators with more than 2000 square feet of cultivated area are required to enroll in a new water quality regulatory program. Permit form.
For more information, visit the State Water Resource Control Board web page.