Governor Makes Several Key Appointments to CDFA and Water Boards

Feb. 23, 2018 – -Last week the Governor announced several key appointments to the Department of Food and Agriculture and several Boards and Commissions important to the industry and environmental protection:

Jennifer Moffitt, 37, of Davis, has been appointed undersecretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she has served as deputy secretary since 2015. Moffitt was managing director at Dixon Ridge Farms from 2005 to 2015. She was an education, outreach and research specialist at the American Farmland Trust from 2004 to 2005, where she was a land projects coordinator from 2002 to 2004. Moffitt is a member of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,328.

Dorene D’Adamo, 57, of Turlock, has been reappointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, where she has served since 2013. D’Adamo served as senior policy advisor to Congressman Jim Costa in 2013 and to Congressman Dennis Cardoza from 2003 to 2012. She was legal counsel for Congressman Gary Condit from 1994 to 2003 and a visiting instructor at California State University, Stanislaus from 1992 to 1998. D’Adamo was legal counsel at the California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety from 1986 to 1988 and legislative director for the California State Assembly Assistant Majority Leader from 1985 to 1986. She is a member of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and served on the California Air Resources Board from 1999 to 2013. D’Adamo earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $147,778.

Frank Damrell, 79, of Carmichael, has been reappointed to the Delta Stewardship Council, where he has served since 2013. He has been a mediator and arbitrator at Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services since 2015. He was a principal at Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy LLP from 2011 to 2015. Damrell served as a judge at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California from 1997 to 2011 and was an attorney in private practice from 1968 to 1997. He served as a deputy district attorney at the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office from 1966 to 1968 and as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 1965 to 1966. Damrell earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $46,913.

Susan Tatayon, 58, of Rocklin, has been reappointed to the Delta Stewardship Council, where she has served since 2014. Tatayon has held several positions at the Nature Conservancy since 2006, including water program director and associate director for the California water program. She was supervising resource planner at Schlumberger Water Services from 2001 to 2005 and special assistant to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific regional director from 2000 to 2001. Tatayon served in several positions at the California Department of Water Resources from 1996 to 2000, including research program specialist and special assistant to the chief deputy director. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $46,913.

 

Legislative Analyst Releases EPA and Natural Resources Overview of Budget

Feb. 23, 2018 – -Every year the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) evaluates the Governor’s proposed budget and reports on several key items.  Last week the LAO released their review of the Governor’s proposed expenditures on the Cap and Trade revenue and on the Governor’s proposal to integrate SB 623, the new assessment on fertilizer and drinking water to pay for clean water programs.

The 2018-19 budget plan for state natural resources and environmental protection departments would provide a total of $11 billion for these departments and includes significant new spending proposals. The following are highlights of the LAO analysis:

Cap-and-Trade Auction Revenues: The administration assumes $2.4 billion in cap-and-trade auction revenue in 2018-19. While the Governor’s estimate is slightly lower than the LAO’s, it falls within a reasonable range. Based on this revenue estimate (and a projected year-end fund balance in 2017-18), the Governor proposes to spend $2.8 billion in 2018-19, including $1.3 billion in discretionary spending. The administration’s spending plan is like that adopted in the current year. However, it includes a few new programs, and it proposes to make $232 million of the spending ongoing, mostly for light-duty zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) rebates.

Governor Proposes New Programs: The administration’s 2018-19 budget includes spending on several new programs. This includes $1 billion to implement Proposition 68—a $4.1 billion natural resources bond that will be on the June 2018 ballot. The budget also includes a proposal to establish new charges on drinking water customers and certain agricultural entities to fund a financial assistance program to address unsafe drinking water, particularly in small and disadvantaged communities. In the report, the LAO identified several issues tor the legislature to consider as it deliberates the proposal, including consistency with current policies and the degree to which the proposal will generate sufficient revenues to address the problem. 

Budget Includes Significant Program Expansion: The Governor proposes increasing spending on several existing programs. This includes (1) $235 million in 2018-19 (and $900 million over eight years) on ZEV infrastructure, (2) $10 million in 2018-19 (and $185 million in total) to construct four new residential facilities for the California Conservation Corps, (3) $79 million to address a structural deficit in the State Parks and Recreation Fund and expand current services at state parks, and (4) $51 million to address a structural deficit in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund and expand various activities at the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Click here to read full report.

Lawmakers Confront California Water Commissioners

Feb. 23, 2018 – – At a California Water Commission hearing this week Assm. Minority Leader, Brian Dahle, presented 4,000 signatures supporting the two largest reservoir projects seeking bond money: Sites Reservoir north of Sacramento and Temperance Flat in the San Joaquin Valley. In January, Commission staff found that none of the nearly dozen water storage proposals, including the two sites, seeking Prop. 1 funding provide adequate “public benefits” as defined by Prop. 1. The Almond Alliance has voiced criticism of the recommendations directly to the commission and has urged an updated and expedited review of the proposals.

Click here to learn more.

Produce Safety Training Provided by Almond Board of California

Feb. 23, 2018 – -ALMOND SPECIFIC PRODUCE: SAFETY ALLIANCE GROWER TRAINING COURSE WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Almond growers or farm-type operations (huller/shellers) even if you will be utilizing the grower exemption.

TRAINING DATES (Courses begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.)

March 2 | Sacramento

CA Farm Bureau Federation

2300 River Plaza Dr.

Sacramento, CA 95833

March 14 | Tulare
International Agri-Center
4500 S. Laspina St.
Tulare, CA 93274
REGISTRATION:
• $35 registration fee, which includes lunch and certificate at
completion of the training.
• Registration is limited to one representative per company and
the first 40 to return their form and payment, per event.
• Send the attached registration form to Jayme Puthoff via fax or
email at jputhoff@almondboard.com or 209.549.8267.
Payment must be received within 5 business days to reserve a spot.
Registration Form
Register Flyer

2018 Almond Alliance Regional Training

Feb. 23, 2018 – -Almond Alliance, along with the insurance specialist at Der Manouel Insurance Group, have partnered with the safety experts at Boretti, Inc.; to provide members with comprehensive safety and instructional training. This training session includes:

Industrial Truck Safety & Awareness:

Instructor: Greg Bird, Boretti, Inc.

Participants will be educated on industrial truck safety, awareness and all requirements set by Cal OSHA. This class will review rollover protection structures and required operating rules. The follow types of industrial trucks will be covered: Tractors, Forklifts, Haulage Vehicles and Earthmoving Equipment.

Emissions Measurement & Calculation (CARB):

Instructor: Michael Burrows, Boretti, Inc.

A 2006 Air Resources Board regulation was implemented with an aim at reducing pollutant emissions for all large spark-ignited engines.  More specifically, this law applies to off-road gasoline, propane, LPG, CNG, and electric vehicles that exceed 25 horsepower.  Since on-road vehicles need to pass periodic tailpipe tests, and since this isn’t always feasible with off-road fleets, a reporting system was put in place that relies on the recordkeeping and submission of fleet information including an estimation of emissions.  This class will review the ARB regulation as well as cover how to calculate emissions and report to the CARB.

LOCATIONS:
Bakersfield Training
February 27, 2018
8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Golden Empire Shelling, LLC
20045 Tracy Ave.
Buttonwillow, CA 93206

Modesto Training
March 6, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Boardroom
1201 L Street
Modesto, CA 95354
Chico Training 
March 8, 2018
8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Chico Guild Hall
2775 Nord Avenue
Chico, CA 95973
Registration Form
Training Flyer
Boretti, Inc. is an internationally acclaimed EHS professional firm with a staff of experts available to design, develop and implement safety health and environmental solutions to ensure our members are compliant with current Cal/OSHA’s standards and investing in the future success of their company. Almond Alliance members are automatically eligible for discounts on Boretti, Inc.’s Products and Services.
For more information, please feel free to contact:
Michelle Corral
michelle@borettiinc.com
(559) 799-2332

 

 

June Proposition Assignments Announced

Feb. 9, 2018 – -Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the number assignments for propositions that will appear on the June Ballot.  Below is a list of assigned proposition numbers for items that passed the Legislature as of January 31, 2018:

  • Proposition 68—SB 5 (DeLeon- California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018) – the Water Bond passed last year by the legislature.
  • Proposition 69—ACA 5 (Frazier-Motor vehicle fee and taxes: restrictions on expenditures: appropriation limit) – requires the gas taxes to be spent on transportation.
  • Proposition 70—ACA 1 (Mayes-Greenhouse Gas Reserve Fund) – basically requires the legislature to reaffirm, by a 2/3 vote, the plan to spend GGRF money.
  • Proposition 71 – ACA 17 (Mullin – Effective Date of Propositions) – would delay implementation of proposition from the day after the election to 5 days after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote.

• Proposition 72—SB 558/SCA 9 (Glazer- Property taxation: new construction exclusion: rain water capture system)

Bill Introduction Deadline Friday Feb. 16

Feb. 9, 2018 – -Friday, February 16th, is the bill introduction deadline for the California legislature.  As it edges closer, the number and frequency of bills being introduced increases.  Next week we should see several hundred more bills rolling in each day.  A few bills addressing agricultural issues were introduced this past week.

There were two noteworthy bills introduced on taxation.  Assembly Member Rudy Salas introduced, AB 2008, that would ensure that Farmers and Ranchers are not taxed on money they receive through the Carl Moyer engine replacement program. The Carl Moyer engine replacement program has become a popular ag incentive program providing clean engines for trucks and tractors, while providing clean air improvements.  This bill is focused on clarifying those incentives are not taxable income.  SB 993, introduced by Senator Hertzberg is another attempt to shift to a tax on services. The measure expands the Sales and Use Tax Law to impose a tax on the purchase of services by businesses in California. The bill exempts certain types of services, including health care services, from the tax and would exempt from the tax a business with gross receipts of less than $100,000 in the previous 4 quarters. IN a twist over his previous legislation, the Senator directs the funds to be appropriated to provide tax relief to middle-income and low-income Californians and to assist in securing greater stability for California’s infrastructure, its workforce, and its education services, including higher education.

AB 2006 (Eggman) would direct an unspecified amount of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund (the money generated though the cap and trade program) to deploy zero emission or near zero emission vehicles for Agricultural Vanpools that serve disadvantaged and low-income communities. The money could be used to fund purchases, lease-purchases, replacement, or maintenance of near-zero and zero-emission vehicles in addition to purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations and near-zero or zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

Assemblymember Bill Quirk (Hayward) has introduced AB 2120, a bill to analyze the benefits of prescribed burns.   Responsible management of California’s wildlands and forests are critical to meeting the state’s environmental goals. Forests are the largest carbon sink in the state and are crucial in maintaining state water supplies in the Sierra Nevada. When forests burn, not only are those roles jeopardized, but harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases are released into the air and water quality is diminished.

Prescribed burns are one of the most effective tools in preventing outbreaks of devastating fires. Prescribed burns clear out undergrowth and thin overly dense forests, making them more resilient. Some studies have shown that prescribed burns emit fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants than wildfires.

Bullet Train Facing Audit

Feb. 2, 2018 – -An announcement earlier this month by the California Rail Authority that the costs of the first 119 miles of track in the Central Valley are estimated to increase to 77% over original projections has finally triggered ranking Democrats in the legislature to authorize the California State Auditor to review the project.

The scope of the audit was a partisan issue. Republican members of the joint legislative audit committee requested that the scope examine the ability for the future system to meet requirements of the 2008 bond that it operate without a state subsidy, and to examine the alternative economic benefits of other transportation projects. Both requests were denied. The California High-Speed Rail Authority will release its biennial business plan in the coming months, which should provide an updated analysis of the costs and timeline of the project.

The State Auditor last reviewed the project in 2012 and criticized risky funding and weak oversight of planning. Further audits and reviews were repeatedly requested by Republican legislators and denied by Democrat leadership. The audit is estimated to take up to nine months, incur 26,000 hours of staff time and cost $344,000.

 

 

Exemption from Produce Safety Rule Explained at Feb. 6 Webinar

Feb. 2, 2018 – -Primary or Secondary Farms may claim an exemption from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Regulation states that an exemption can apply if the produce will receive a commercial process that adequately reduces the presence of microorganisms(Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria) of public health significance §112.2(B)(1). However, Grower/ Farms will need to provide a Written Disclosure Statements: “Almond are not processed to adequately reduce the presence of microorganisms of public health significance.” Disclosure statements may be made in documents accompanying the products including: Grower/ Field Tags, Delivery Statements, Bills of Lading, etc.

The Almond Board of California will be hosting an Industry Exemption Webinar Tuesday, Feb.6, 2018 at 1 p.m. We strongly encourage all of your members to attend. 

Exemption Webinar Flyer

FSMA Update: CDFA Launches Produce Safety Program

Feb. 2, 2018 – -Federal and state government agencies are working together to implement this new regulation (FSMA Produce Safety Rule) throughout the U.S. The FDA, in collaboration with State Departments of Agriculture, will provide oversight and verify compliance. California Department of Food Agriculture (CDFA) is launching the California Produce Safety Program, which will include educational information designed to assist California produce farms in understanding the requirements of the FDA’s Produce Safety Rule and how to comply with this new regulation. CDFA is expected to conduct most farm inspections in California.

Even though the compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule is today, January 26, 2018, for farms designated as “large” (those with annual sales greater than $500,000), CDFA will be devoting 2018 to education and enforcement will begin in 2019.

CDFA has hired and is currently training produce safety inspectors and other staff members to carry out Produce Safety Rule education and on-farm inspections. Produce Safety Program inspectors employed by CDFA are required to be credentialed by FDA and will have specialized training and education to conduct authorized routine inspections on behalf of the FDA. Meanwhile, the CDPH will continue to serve in its role to ensure the safety of California’s food supply. If a CDFA Produce Safety Program inspector believes there is a significant and imminent threat to public health on a produce farm, they will inform CDPH of the situation for evaluation and potential regulatory action.

CDFA has been provided funding to subsidize Produce Safety Rule Grower Training workshops so they can be offered at a reduced rate. These courses are being offered in both English and Spanish in several locations throughout the state (see CDFA Training list below). If your company falls under Produce Safety Rule, it is required that every produce farm employ an individual who has completed an approved Grower Training course. If you do not fall under this rule the course is recommended.

In addition, as CDFA prepares for official Produce Safety Rule on-farm inspections, which will begin in 2019, CDFA will be offering a series of non-regulatory On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR). These are designed to give produce farmers a better understanding of what they can expect from a routine Produce Safety Program inspection. Information on how to schedule an OFRR will be available very soon.

To see additional training options click HERE.

CDFA Training List

Interview with Samir Assar: What to Expect Now That Larger Farms Must Comply