Monterey County Farm Bureau

ILRP - Ag Order 4.0

In November 2018, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board released five Options Tables describing their vision for the next iteration of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program for Central Coast Agriculture (known widely as Ag Order 4.0).  The Options Tables focused on numeric standards and prohibitions that would largely be unattainabile throughout the cycle of Ag Order 4.0 and make compliance montoring and reporting vastly more expensive and difficult for all farms.

During the subsequent months, six Ag organizations came together to develop an Ag Alternative to this harsh regulatory program proposal.  These organizations are: Monterey County Farm Bureau, Grower-Shipper Assocation of Central California, California Farm Bureau Federation, Central Coast Groundwater Coalition, Grower-Shipper Association of San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbra Counties, and Western Growers.

With this Ag Alternative submittal on Janaury 21, 2019, the organizations provide specific comments and alternatives to the conceptutual regualtory requirements contained in the Options Tables. To develop these comments and alternatives, the organizations engaged directly with many of our members who will be directly impacted by Ag Order 4.0.  Monterey County Farm Bureau and Grower-Shipper Association of Central Califonria formed a Technical Advisory Committee to specifically address the regulatory challenges.  Additionally, imput was received from other agricultural organizations that are not signatories to this Ag Alternative submittal. These six organizations are committed to working together to make consolidated recommendations that are representative of the collective viewpoints of all of these

Ag Order 4.0 is now expected to be adopted in January, 2021.  A draft Order document is due to be released by Regional Water Board staff early this spring with a subsequent comment period.

View the documents submitted to the Regional Water Board:

Monterey County Farm Bureau supports the use of General Discharge Requirements (WDR) for this next iteration of the Ag Order (rather than another conditional waiver that is limited to five years).  This allows for more regualtory flexibility and certainty, as noted in the narrative document.

Please e-mail any comments on these documents to

MCFB, along with our Ag  organization partners, will continue to monitor Ag Order 4.0 as it is fully considered during 2020 Regional Water Board meetings.  MCFB is committing significant funding to hire experts in agronomy, economics, and legal issues.