Home Industry News Dairy Legislation Central Valley Dairies to Receive Mailed Salt Control Program Notices​

Central Valley Dairies to Receive Mailed Salt Control Program Notices​

During the week of January 4, 2021, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) will send letters to dairies and other bovine operations, and many other water quality permit holders. The letters will be titled as Notices to Comply.

These letters notify permit holders that they must comply with a new regulation known as the Salt Control Program. Parts of the new regulation went into effect in January of 2020 and the remaining portion went into effect in November of 2020. Its primary aim is to reduce the impacts of salt accumulation in Central Valley groundwater.

“The good news for Central Valley dairies is that they are already in compliance with the Salt Control Program, if they are members of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP),” said CVDRMP Chairman Justin Gioletti, a Turlock area dairy farmer.

“The Regional Water Board is required to notify water quality permit holders about this regulation, which is why Central Valley dairies and other cattle operations will receive the letter in early January,” said J.P. Cativiela, CVDRMP Administrator.  “However, if those operations are already CVDRMP members, the notice is essentially a formality. Recipients who read the letter carefully will learn that if they are CVDRMP members, they do not need to respond to the notice. These CVDRMP members are already in compliance.”

As a monitoring coalition representing about 1,250 dairies and bovine operations, CVDRMP negotiated – prior to the official notice – an agreement that enrolls all its members in an alternative compliance option, known as “Pathway B.”

For dairies, cost for enrolling in the Salt Control Program will be $72 for 2021, to be collected as part of their annual CVDRMP fees. However, the Salt Control Program alone will not result in a fee increase for CVDRMP member dairies, because the dairy farmer-led CVDRMP Board of Directors reduced costs in other parts of the monitoring program to compensate.

“Through efficiencies, we have been able to reduce our monitoring costs enough to compensate for the additional costs of the Salt Control Program,” said Rodney Kamper, CVDRMP Treasurer and a Riverdale dairy farmer. “That means for our dairy members, the total annual cost for both groundwater monitoring and Salt Control Program compliance will be $972, the same amount we have charged for just groundwater monitoring since the start of the program in 2011.”

However, there will be a cost increase for bovine operations who are CVDRMP members and regulated under the Regional Water Board’s “Bovine Order.” For those, cost of the Salt Control Program will be added to their 2021 fee invoices and will range from $160 to $320 per year depending on herd size. Enrollment will be automatic for all members.

Kamper cautioned that this does not include the new costs associated with another new regulation recently adopted by the Regional Water Board, known as the Nitrate Control Program. Costs of the Nitrate Control Program are still being determined and will initially involve many CVDRMP members in so called “Priority 1” areas such as the Turlock, Modesto, Chowchilla, Kings, Kaweah, and Tule groundwater basins.

“The Salt Control Program should not be confused with the more expensive Nitrate Control Program. More information will be coming to CVDRMP members in January and February about new fee schedules related to the Nitrate Control Program,” Kamper said. “For now, we want to assure our members that they do not need to worry about, or respond to, the Salt Control Program letters they receive in January.”

CVDRMP members (or non-member dairies and bovine operations who want more information about how to comply) are welcome to contact CVDRMP at 916-594-9450 or CVDRMP@gmail.com with any questions they may have or to check the status of their facility’s membership in the program.
About the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program
The Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program is a not-for-profit group of more than 1,000 Central Valley dairies, organized and overseen by directors elected from its membership. The group’s purpose is to reduce regulatory costs for members by administering a representative program for dairies. Membership in this voluntary program fully substitutes for individual monitoring requirements currently in regulation .

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