In 2017, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) adopted a water quality control permit (General Permit) for vineyard properties in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek watersheds.
The General Permit regulates parcels developed to include a 5-acre-or-larger vineyard that are located in these two watersheds. All vineyard parcels subject to the General Permit – regardless of slope of the planted area – must achieve performance standards for soil erosion in the farm area, and for discharge of nutrients and pesticides.
As you know, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau works diligently to protect the rights and interests of Sonoma County’s agricultural community. For many years, we have met with the regional water board and other interested parties and worked to limit the impact of the Vineyard General Permit. While we were not able to eliminate the need for it, we have taken on the role of fee collector to protect our agricultural community and significantly reduce the expense and impact that this state-mandated program will have on your property.
Without the Sonoma County Farm Bureau taking on this role, property owners would be required to pay significantly more in fees to the state water board.
With the Farm Bureau’s fee administration and oversight of this program, we save our members thousands of dollars, eliminate the need for other laborious requirements, and ensure a high compliance rate by taking on the work ourselves.