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AB-1086 Cannella Environmental Farming Act of 1995: State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 06/11/19 - Amended Senate         Compare Versions information image


AB1086:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1086


Introduced by Assembly Member Bauer-Kahan
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia)

February 21, 2019


An act to add Section 568.5 to the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to agriculture.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1086, as amended, Bauer-Kahan. Cannella Environmental Farming Act of 1995: State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program.
Existing law, the Cannella Environmental Farming Act of 1995, requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to establish and oversee an environmental farming program to provide incentives to farmers whose practices promote the well-being of ecosystems, air quality, and wildlife and their habitat. The act requires the Secretary of Food and Agriculture to convene the Scientific Advisory Panel on Environmental Farming, as prescribed, for the purpose of providing advice to the secretary on the implementation of the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program and assistance to federal, state, and local government agencies on issues relating to the impact of agricultural practices on air, water, and wildlife habitat, as specified. The act requires the department to establish a technical assistance grant program to provide funds to technical assistance providers, as defined, to provide assistance to the Healthy Soils Program, alternative manure management practices programs, and State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program applicants.
This bill would require the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature of additional funds for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, to administer the program in accordance with specified requirements. The bill would require the secretary to adopt guidelines to be used in awarding funds under the program and to update those guidelines for each grant cycle. Before updating the guidelines, the program. The bill would require the secretary to convene an a technical advisory committee and of the Scientific Advisory Panel not later than April 1, 2020, to inform the development of the guidelines and application make recommendations to the panel and secretary regarding the program’s guidelines, quantification methods, application, and selection process in order to improve specified aspects of the program.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 568.5 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

568.5.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “grant program” means the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program established by the department from moneys made available pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Statutes of 2014.
(b) Upon appropriation by the Legislature of additional funds for the grant program, the department shall administer the grant program in accordance with all of the following:
(1) The department shall provide financial assistance in the form of grants to agricultural operations to implement irrigation management systems that reduce greenhouse gases and energy use, increase water use efficiency and quality, efficiency, and, where feasible, improve groundwater sustainability sustainability, subject to the following requirements: both of the following:
(A) The department shall prioritize financial assistance for farms and ranches of 500 acres or less and socially disadvantaged farmers as defined in Section 512.

(B)An agricultural operation shall not be eligible for the grant program if it has converted to a significantly higher water use crop within the past year, unless the cropping rotation pattern is designated by a groundwater sustainability plan as a long-term water saving measure.

(C)An agricultural operation that has been awarded a grant shall forfeit the grant if it converts to a significantly higher water use crop before the completion of project verification, unless the cropping rotation pattern is designated by a groundwater sustainability plan as a long-term water saving measure.

(B) The department may consider and prioritize projects that provide cobenefits, including, but not limited to, improved water quality, groundwater recharge, on-farm water storage, surface water efficiency, and water supply adaptability.
(2) The department shall may fund the on-farm project components of joint pilot projects that meet the eligibility criteria established by the secretary and that coordinate efforts between irrigation districts or groundwater sustainability agencies to improve conveyance or groundwater sustainability.
(3) The department shall fund qualified technical assistance providers with demonstrated expertise in irrigation and nutrient management education, including, but not limited to, the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, resource conservation districts, and the California State University, to provide culturally competent irrigation and nutrient management training for farm operators responsible for the day-to-day management of the irrigation systems. In order to receive funding pursuant to this paragraph, a technical assistance provider shall demonstrate the ability to do effective outreach to agricultural operators and provide training and related materials in the language spoken by agricultural operators.
(4) The department shall may contract with qualified third parties to measure grant program outcomes described in paragraph (1).
(c) (1) The secretary shall adopt guidelines to be used in awarding funds under the grant program and shall update those guidelines for each grant cycle. Before updating the guidelines, program.
(2) Not later than April 1, 2020, the secretary shall convene an a technical advisory committee and of the panel.

(2)The committee

(3) Not later than July 1, 2021, the committee shall make recommendations to inform the development of the guidelines and application process the panel and secretary regarding the program’s guidelines, quantification methods, application process, and scoring criteria to improve the following:
(A) Greenhouse gas emission and energy use reductions, water use efficiency and quality, and efficiency, groundwater sustainability, and cobenefits, including possible inclusion of dual irrigation systems, surface water efficiency, and on-farm water storage project activities. projects.
(B) Participation in the program by agricultural operations that have historically had limited participation, including operations in southern California, operations that receive pressurized water delivery from irrigation districts or municipalities, operations that use portable irrigation pumps, and operations owned or managed by socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
(C) Quantification methodology methods for the program’s desired outcomes.
(D) Coordination and promotion of the program with irrigation districts, groundwater sustainability agencies, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and resource conservation districts.
(4) Members of the committee shall not apply for grants from the program while members of the committee.