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Russian River/Frost Protection

Frost Protection Regulation

RUSSIAN RIVER WATERSHED

In April 2009 the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) held a workshop to receive information regarding the need for and the effect of water diversions for purposes of frost protection of crops in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. The workshop was held in response to a letter the Deputy Director for Water Rights received on February 27, 2009 from the Santa Rosa Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) expressing concern over the threat to federally threatened and endangered salmonids of frost protection irrigation by vineyard owners in the Russian River watershed. In the letter, NOAA Fisheries Service requested that the State Water Board take immediate action to protect salmonids in the Russian River watershed, e.g., by implementing emergency regulations. At follow-up workshops in November 2009 and January 2010, the State Water Board received information on the status of Russian River salmonids, the impact of water diversions, voluntary actions to address impacts, and grower issues and options related to frost events.

At the January 2010 workshop the Board instructed staff to pursue regulations though the formal rulemaking process. Staff presented draft regulations at the January 19, 2010 workshop, which were revised for discussion at the March 30, 2010 State Water Board meeting. On April 6, 2011, prior to the initiation of the formal rulemaking process, the State Water Board held another workshop and made available for public comment a revised draft of the regulation and draft rulemaking documents.

On May 20, 2011, the State Water Board initiated the formal rulemaking process, and made available for public comment revised drafts of the proposed regulation and Initial Statement of Reasons. The State Water Board also made available a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed regulation in order to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. The written comment deadline was noon on July 5, 2011. On September 1, 2011, the State Water Board posted revisions to the draft documents and new documents for the rulemaking record. The State Water Board accepted written comments on the revisions and new material until Noon on September 16, 2011. The State Water Board adopted the proposed regulation and certified the Environmental Impact Report during a hearing held on September 20, 2011. The Final Rulemaking Package was filed with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on November 15, 2011. At the request of OAL, the State Water Board made non-substantive, largely typographical corrections to the text of the regulation. OAL approved the regulation on December 29, 2011. The regulation became effective on December 29, 2011, when OAL filed it with the Secretary of State.

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2011 Activities

OAL Notice of Approval

Final Regulation Approved by OAL

Supplement to the Final Statement of Reasons

Adopted Regulation and Materials Submitted to OAL

A business or person submitting a comment to a proposed regulation or proposed amendment or repeal of a regulation or any person who specifically requests it has the right to request a copy of the Final Statement of Reasons (FSOR). Upon its completion, the FSOR will be available and copies may be requested from State Water Board contact persons, or may be obtained in electronic form from this webpage.

2010 Activities

  • CEQA Scoping Documents and Comments Received
  • Notice of Preparation and Public Scoping Meeting - Russian River Frost Protection Regulation, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties (posted 10/27/10)
  • Russian River Frost Protection Update - State Water Board’s June 15, 2010 Agenda
  • Proposed Edits to the Russian River Frost Protection Draft Regulations for discussion at the scheduled meeting on March 30, 2010.
    • Suggested Revisions to January 19, 2010 draft regulations (for discussion at March 30, 2010 meeting) submitted by Devon Jones, on behalf of the Russian River Frost Program (Devon Jones, Mendocino County Farm Bureau, David Koball, Fetzer Vineyards, Sean White, Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District, Pete Opatz, Silverado Premium Properties, Doug McIlroy, Rodney Strong Vineyard, Laurel Marcus, California Land Stewardship Institute, and Lex McCorvey, Sonoma County Farm Bureau).
    • Suggested Revisions to January 19, 2010 draft regulations (handed out at March 18, 2010 meeting) submitted by Devon Jones, on behalf of the Russian River Frost Program (Devon Jones, Mendocino County Farm Bureau, David Koball, Fetzer Vineyards, Sean White, Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District, Pete Opatz, Silverado Premium Properties, Doug McIlroy, Rodney Strong Vineyard, Laurel Marcus, California Land Stewardship Institute, and Lex McCorvey, Sonoma County Farm Bureau
    • Revised Russian River Frost Regulations provided during the January 19, 2010 workshop
  • March 18, 2010 - Frost Regulation Working Group Process
  • March 15, 2010 - Revised Notice of Russian River Frost Protection Working Group Meetings - The State Water Resources Control Board has issued this revised notice containing a change in room location for the meetings originally scheduled for the Coastal Hearing Room. The meeting on Thursday, March 18, will now be held in Training Room 2 East/West and the meeting for Tuesday, March 30, will be held in Conference Room 1410
  • March 8, 2010 - Notice of Russian River Frost Protection Working Group Meetings
  • January 19, 2010, State Water Board's Agenda Item #7 Fact Sheet
    Workshop to receive a recommendation from staff concerning Board action to address the effects on salmonids of water diversion practices for frost protection of crops in the Russian River watershed in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.

2009 Activities