Department of Agriculture Weights/Measures

Written By: Department Staff
Published: February 5, 2021

AWM Announces New Consulting Contract with EBA Engineering

AWM is happy to announce that on January 5, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved a new contract with Santa Rosa based EBA Engineering. With over 40 years of experience consulting in engineering and geology, we believe EBA Engineering will be an excellent fit in our VESCO program.

In 2013, AWM took over the review of agricultural grading and drainage projects from Permit Sonoma (then PRMD) in order to make AWM a one-stop-shop for VESCO project permitting. In order to accommodate the requirement for peer review of the associated engineered plans, AWM put out a solicitation for engineering and geologic consultation. As a result, LACO Associates won the contract to be the engineering and geologic consultants for the program. The LACO team worked closely with AWM staff in reviewing VESCO project plans and reports, conducted hundreds of site visits, advised in the development of BMPs and ordinance language, and helped make VESCO a more legally defensible program by helping to evolve a strong scientific basis for project approval.

During this transition, AWM will have both LACO Associates and EBA Engineering under contract as we move forward full-time with EBA Engineering. We look forward to developing our relationship with the EBA Engineering team and feel we will be able to serve the public as well as ever with their vineyard and orchard development projects.

N95 and Disposable Procedural Masks Still Available

AWM still has a supply of N95 respiratory protective masks and disposable procedural masks for COVID protection for use by agricultural workers. These masks, provided through the California Office of Emergency Services with cooperation from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association, are available to agricultural-related businesses in Sonoma County free of charge.  

In 2020, AWM handed out 51,630 N95 masks and 39,560 disposable procedural masks to agricultural entities throughout Sonoma County.

With the new year, it’s time to consider your respiratory protection needs for 2021. We are happy to provide you and your employees with masks, whether as a requirement for pesticide applications or COVID protection. We would like to help as many people as possible through this program.

We currently have an ample but limited supply of masks. If you are interested in receiving masks, please call our office at (707) 565-2371.

Reschedule Fall Plastic Recycling Day a Success

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, AWM held what should have been the second container recycling event for 2020. This free event, delayed eight weeks due to COVID, gives our local farmers, nurseries, pest control businesses, golf courses, parks, and government agencies the opportunity to recycle empty, non-reusable plastic pesticide containers that would otherwise end up in the landfill. 

This winter event brought 72 participants, dropping off an estimated 14,000 pounds of material during the six-hour event. All participants must fill out a ‘Pesticide Container Rinse Certification’, which certifies the containers are clean and have been triple rinsed in accordance with Section 6684 of the California Code of Regulations. 

A big thank you to Wilbur-Ellis and their staff for accommodating the event. With a two-man crew, Interstate Ag Plastics processes the pesticide containers on-site, chipping the plastic into half-inch pieces. The material is then hauled to the Central Valley where it is distributed and processed into acceptable end-use products. Some of these products include agriculture drain pipes, highway and agricultural fence posts, and industrial pallets for agriculture chemical and seed packaging. Since the creation of the Ag Container Recycling Council in 1992, 175,000,000 pounds of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic has been recycled.

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