PERMIT RENEWALS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION REMINDERS
The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures is now accepting appointments to renew Operator Identification Numbers and Restricted Materials Permits. If your Operator Identification Number or Restricted Material Permit expires this year, you must renew prior to applying pesticides in 2021. Please call (707) 565-2371 to schedule an appointment. An inspector will evaluate your needs prior to your appointment time and, in some cases, a renewal may be allowed through email or other remote/minimum contact method.
For the safety of you and our staff, all visitors will be screened and temperatures taken prior to anyone entering the building. Face coverings are required and we ask that only one person enter the building per appointment time.
As a reminder, the annual Grower Workshop will not be taking place this December. Please plan ahead to fulfill any continuing education (CE) requirements.
Additionally, for those holding the following licenses and/or certificates, the requirements for obtaining accredited CE hours are still in effect:
– Agricultural Pest Control Adviser Licensees (PCA)
– Pest Control Aircraft Pilot Certificate Holders–Journeyman (JP) & Apprentice (AP)
– Qualified Applicator Licensees (QAL)
– Qualified Applicator Certificate Holders (QAC)
– Private Applicator Certificate Holders (PAC)
Private Applicator Certificate holders have two renewal options:
Option 1: Complete six hours of DPR-approved continuing education every three years, including at least two hours of laws and regulations
Option 2: Retake and pass the private applicator certification exam
IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING RECORDS OF THE APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES THAT YOU ATTEND! Department staff will need to see records proving your attendance of continuing education classes in order to renew your certificate. All CE hours must be obtained during the period the PAC is valid. PAC can be renewed no sooner than 120 days prior to or 90 days after expiration date.
Applicators with certificates valid for:
– Less than 12 months at the time of renewal are exempt from the CE requirement.
– 12 to 24 months at the time of renewal must complete four hours of CE, including at least two hours in laws and regulations.
– 25 to 36 months at the time of renewal must take at least six hours of CE, including at least two hours of laws and regulations.
Listed below are websites you can visit to earn CE hours. Please make sure the class is accredited in California. Print out a confirmation that you completed the class and keep this for your records. There may be fees for some of the classes.
PROCEDURAL AND N95 MASKS AVAILABLE
The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures has obtained a supply of disposable procedural masks for COVID-19 protection and N95 respiratory protective masks. Both mask types are appropriate for use by agricultural workers and are available for agricultural related businesses in Sonoma County free of charge.
To date, our office has provided 37,160 procedural and 50,870 N95 masks to agricultural entities throughout Sonoma County. These masks have been 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.
Plan now for your respiratory protection needs in 2021. The Department is happy to provide you and your employees with masks to help as many people as possible through this program while supplies last.
If you are interested in receiving masks, please call our office at (707) 565-2371.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE FUELING SYSTEMS
The all-electric motor vehicle is on the cusp of being adopted as a functional and reliable day commuter. The as yet unrealized potential of the electric vehicle becoming an option for long-distance travel is only limited by the lack of convenient refueling stations found throughout a long-distance journey. Today, that obstacle is being overcome rather quickly. There are approximately over 6,700 stations throughout California with just under 28,000 available charging outlets. Electric vehicle charging units are comparatively new and have grown rapidly in the last few years, outpacing any established regulations. Starting January 1, 2021, new regulations regarding how electricity as a motor fuel is to be advertised and sold to the public go into effect.
The new regulations address several important points. The sale of electricity as motor fuel must be sold by the kilowatt-hour, much as consumers are charged for electric energy at home by the local utility company. The electricity must be sold over an approved “legal for trade” device approved by either California’s Type Evaluation Program (CTEP) or the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). This device must meet newly established national specifications and tolerance requirements published in the 2020 edition of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NITS) Handbook 44, Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems. The Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems must clearly identify voltage rating, maximum current deliverable, type of current (AC or DC), energy unit price in either megajoules or kilowatt-hour units, minimum measured quantity, and any temperature limitations of the device.
Additionally, the device must provide a printed or electronic receipt to the consumer that clearly states total quantity of energy delivered with units of measure, total computed price of the energy sale, unit price of the energy, maximum rate of energy transfer, type of current, any additional separate charges, final total price of the complete transaction, unique charging station identification number, business name, and address.
The electric vehicle charging stations currently installed throughout Sonoma County are not yet compliant with these new regulations. Existing charging stations have a phase out period which will allow them to be operational through 2031. As of January 1, 2021, new installations of alternating current (AC) charge will need to comply with new regulations, and new installations of direct current (DC) chargers will be required to comply with these same regulations as of January 1, 2023.
If you would like to find more information about Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems in your area, you can visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office at https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_stations.html.