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Regional Water Board Moves Forward with New Ag Order; Public Workshops Announced

by Jane Sooby |

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board) has released a draft Agricultural Order 4.0 to take the place of the existing order, which expires January 31, 2021.

The Central Coast Water Board will hold three virtual workshops on June 2, June 3, and June 4 to explain the new Agricultural Order, review its monitoring and reporting requirements, and provide information about the draft environmental impact report. Links to join each workshop are listed below. 

The workshops will be broadcast via Zoom, which may be accessed via computer or telephone. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of presentations.

Notable elements of the proposed Agricultural Order 4.0 include 

  • first-ever nitrogen (N) fertilizer application limits 
  • a compost discount factor that allows farmers to correct the total nitrogen applied via compost with a mineralization rate to more accurately reflect the actual amount of N released in the first year of application
  • increased monitoring and reporting requirements resulting in potential increased compliance costs of 100-150%
  • a framework for an expanded third-party program that will assist growers in complying 

CCOF’s policy team has been following the development of this agricultural order and will submit comments on it by the deadline of June 20, 2020. CCOF encourages members who will be impacted by the order to provide oral comment during a listening session and/or submit written comment on it. The counties covered by the Central Coast Water Board include Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara (south of Morgan Hill), San Mateo (southern portion), Kern (small portions), and Ventura (northern portion).

More information on the order and how to submit comment is available on the Central Coast Water Board website.

Please contact Jane Sooby, CCOF’s senior outreach and policy specialist, if you have additional questions or thoughts on the proposed agricultural order. She can be reached at or by phone at 831-425-7205.

Workshop Information




June 2, 2020


Virtual Workshop #1

Santa Cruz County & San Benito County

Join Zoom Workshop #1

Meeting ID: 935 7000 7730

Dial in: +1 669 900 9128

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

June 3, 2020


Virtual Workshop #2

Monterey County & San Luis Obispo County

Join Zoom Workshop #2

Meeting ID: 929 6678 3121

Dial in: +1 669 900 9128

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

June 4, 2020


Virtual Workshop #3

Santa Barbara County & Ventura County

Join Zoom Workshop #3

Meeting ID: 998 8326 7124

Dial in: +1 669 900 9128

9:00 a.m. – 11:30

There will be five brief presentations which will be followed by a question and answer session. For questions, please contact Water Board staff at