The purpose of the El Dorado Agricultural Water Quality Management Corporation (Ag Water Quality) is to provide a mechanism for its members to comply with the regulatory requirements of the state’s Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program by participating in a coalition group. As such, the corporation acts on behalf of the membership in coordinating technical responses and data requirements with the Sacramento Valley Water Quality Coalition (SVWQC), of which it is a member, and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (hereafter “Regional Board”) who regulates waters of the State in Region
Coalition membership is available to any person who owns and manages an agricultural operation with irrigated lands in El Dorado County and who has voluntarily elected to opt-in to the Coalition Group Conditional Waiver Program of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. The property owner is responsible to enroll his or her acres that are engaged in irrigated agricultural activities as defined in the regulation.
A member who is current on their membership dues and who meets the criteria set forth in Section 4 of the bylaws is considered a member in good standing.
Members are required to provide information about their operations from time to time. Some data may be requested by Ag Water Quality in order to better report on the cropping and management-practices being utilized. In order to satisfy the requirements of the Reduced Monitoring Program, which allows reduced water monitoring and analysis, all members are required to participate in the survey. Ag Water Quality will protect membership lists and all data collected from the members of this coalition. Where information is required to satisfy a regulatory requirement, data will be provided at a summary level that cannot be related to individual farm operations.
Members are required to provide access to their operations to allow independent verification of their reported management practices. Annually, the Reduced Monitoring status requires 5% of the irrigated acres within the El Dorado watershed to be verified in this manner. Verification is not judgmental in nature.
A membership is considered terminated if an individual who previously opted-in to the Coalition Group Conditional Waiver Program does not pay his or her membership dues within the time specified in the bylaws. A member who elects to opt-out of the program following receipt of proper dues billing notice or a member who cancels his or her membership in accordance with Section 4.7 of the bylaws will no longer be considered a member of the coalition.
A member who has terminated his or her membership may elect to re-apply for membership. He or she will first be required to re-apply to the Regional Board to re-join a coalition group. If accepted by the Regional Board, including payment of any fees, fines, or penalties, and following notification by the Regional Board that they have been approved to apply for coalition membership, an application form will be provided for membership in Ag Water Quality’s corporation.
In addition to the normal membership dues, an administrative fee for the processing of a membership re-application will be added. The amount of the administrative fee will be determined by the Board of Directors annually when establishing the membership dues amounts. Administrative fees are intended to recover the average cost of processing multiple billing mailings and staff collection activities associated with those billings. In addition, an amount for retroactive dues will be added, to include the amount of dues that would have been due and payable had the member not terminated his or her membership or refused participation. Upon payment of the current year’s membership dues, the retroactive dues, and the re-application fee, a membership will be considered reinstated.
Once the Ag Water Quality board has approved a membership reinstatement, the administrative staff is allowed 90 days from said date to collect the invoiced amount. If a member requests a payment plan for a large dues amount, especially in the case of back dues and re-application fees, a payment plan will be considered insofar as final payment is received within the fiscal year in which the reinstatement was approved.
When a member parcel sells or the property changes hands, the new owner of the property is responsible for membership in the coalition. If the newly acquired member parcel is currently in good standing, the new owner can contact the administrative staff to request a membership name change. If the membership has been terminated for any reason, the new property owner must apply to the El Dorado County Agriculture Water Quality Board for approval.
Membership dues are paid on an annual basis and expire at the end of the fiscal year. Ag Water Quality will not hold in escrow any fees paid by the selling member and will not be responsible to reimburse member for dues paid in any membership year.