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Conveyor Currents                                  August 3, 2012
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2012


October 10, 2012   Safety Training Workshop Joint CGFA/NGFA Event in Fresno, CA

2013

January 16-17, 2013   Grain & Feed Industry Conference, Embassy Suites, Monterey, CA

April 24-27, 2013  CGFA Annual Convention ~ The Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach, CA

2014

January 15-16, 2014   Grain & Feed Industry Conference, Embassy Suites, Monterey, CA

April 23-26, 2014  CGFA Annual Convention ~ The Sheraton Resort, Maui, HI 

Quick Links
 
California
 Grain & Feed Assn.
      www.cgfa.org
 
California Dept. of Food & Ag 
   www.cdfa.ca.gov
 
U.S. Dept. of Food & Ag
    www.usda.gov
 
 
In This Issue
USDA Crop Progress Update Bleak
GOP Ditches Farm Bill Extension
No on 37 Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme
Furthering the Biobased Economy
Disaster Bill OK'd by House
Congress Agrees to Kick Appropriations Work into 2013 with Six-Month CR
Over One-Third of House Wants RFS Waiver; Senate Wants Federal Drought Task Force
Farm Bill Extension Dead; House, Senate Target August Discussions
House Committee Approves Methyl Bromide Bill
State Board to Discuss Agricultural Labor at its Upcoming Meeting
MFG, PFG Targeted in House, Senate Hearings
Court Challenges to HOS Rules Increasing
Senate Finance Approves First Tax Bill, Includes Tax Break Extenders
USDA Crop Progress Update Bleak; Vilsack Increases County Disaster Designations

 

USDA, based on conditions for the week ending July 29, increased the number of U.S. corn fields in poor to very poor condition from 45% to 48% this week, and compared that estimate to last year's 14%. Only 24% of fields are considered in good to excellent condition, compared with 62% last year at this time. The next major USDA crop production report is due August 10. Also this week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack designated another 218 counties in 12 states as primary natural disaster areas based on drought, bringing the total to 50.3% of counties in the U.S. USDA also announced relaxation of haying and grazing permissions on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, and adjustments to the federal crop insurance program. Soybean fields are also showing signs of stress, but not to the degree the corn crop is suffering, the department said, reporting 37% of soybean fields in major states are in poor to very poor condition, up from 35% the week before. The number of soybean fields considered to be in good to excellent condition fell from 31% a week ago, to 29% this week. The department said 57% of pasture is in poor to very poor condition, compared with 55% the week before, and only 17% of the nation's pastures are considered in good to excellent condition.

GOP Ditches Farm Bill Extension

By DAVID ROGERS | Updated: 7/31/12 7:45 PM EDT

 

Facing defeat, Republicans pulled their one-year farm bill extension from the House docket late Tuesday in favor of a narrower disaster aid package to address the immediate needs of drought-stricken livestock producers.  The House Rules Committee had been slated to take up the extension Tuesday in anticipation of floor votes Wednesday. But shortly before the 5 p.m. meeting, notice was abruptly given that the bill had been pulled, and the substitute disaster package was expected to be filed later in the evening for floor action Thursday.

 

No immediate details were available, but it appeared likely that the substitute will again try to restore livestock indemnity and forage programs that have expired in the current farm law. The estimated costs could exceed $600 million but be offset by imposing caps on two conservation programs much as the House Appropriations Committee has already proposed in its 2013 budget bill.  "My priority remains to get a five-year farm bill on the books and put those policies in place," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). "But the most pressing business before us is to provide disaster assistance to those producers impacted by the drought conditions who are currently exposed."

 

"The House is expected to consider a disaster assistance package on Thursday and I encourage my colleagues to support it. ...The challenges our farmers and ranchers are currently facing only underscores how important it is that we complete a five-year farm bill this year."  As this week began, the leadership was still talking boldly of going forward with the extension - but the odds seemed to grow longer by the hour.  Stepping into the debate Tuesday morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had dismissed the leadership proposal as "just an excuse not to put in the work to build a coalition" needed for a long-term plan for producers but also all of "rural America."   "We need a five-year bill," Vilsack told POLITICO. "If folks care about rural America they will get this done."

 

The "rural America" theme is one that the former Iowa governor has sounded before, emphasizing the economic development, energy and land conservation elements of the farm bills. But he raised the political stakes Tuesday, saying that rural communities can survive the devastating drought this summer but that their economic turnaround could be seriously hurt by the stalemate in Congress.  Production agriculture is the linchpin," Vilsack said, but the "total package" is driven by "the natural resources of rural America" whether in recreational lands, bio-fuels or new manufacturing. "We have the momentum now," he said. "It's taken a long time to get it, but they could kill it if there is no five-year farm bill."

 

Leaders of the House and Senate Ag Committees met Tuesday morning to try to find a path forward. But Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House panel, refused to accept the extension absent a promise from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow House-Senate negotiations in August on the larger five-year farm plans favored by the two committees.  The Senate approved its farm bill in June, but Boehner has so far blocked House action for fear of a messy fight dividing his party. Instead, the speaker prevailed on Lucas to move ahead last Friday with the one-year extension together with disaster aid.

 

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has major agricultural interests in his own home district, reached out to Peterson over the weekend. And given the severity of the drought, the GOP leadership badly wants to show some progress before sending their farm state members home for the August recess. "They are beginning to figure out that this is a big albatross and want to get it off their back," Peterson told POLITICO.

 

He said McCarthy was not unsympathetic to his desire to get on to the five-year bill. But as an interim step, just dealing with the livestock aid is an option.  Lucas himself wants to move ahead with a five-year bill and has been put in a difficult spot by his leadership. Friday's unveiling was more haphazard than is the chairman's style. His typically close working relationship with Peterson is showing some strains. And despite the fact that Lucas included substantial disaster aid in his extension, it has been met with a steady drumbeat of complaints from the right and left.  Fiscal conservatives and taxpayer groups are upset that the bill walks away from earlier promises to end costly direct cash payments to farmers. Environmentalists are agitated by the fact that the greatest share of the cuts to pay for the disaster aid would come from conservation programs.

 

No on 37:  Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme

CGFA recently joined a statewide coalition of family farmers, small businesses, food companies, taxpayers, ethnic groups and others that has formed to defeat Prop. 37 on California's November 2012 Ballot.

 

Prop. 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme. The measure would ban the sale of tens of thousands of perfectly safe, common food products unless they are specially repackaged, relabeled or remade with higher cost ingredients - just for California. Prop. 37 will add more government bureaucracy and red tape and taxpayer costs, create a whole new class of lawsuits, and increase food prices for California families - all without providing any health or safety benefits.

 

Prop. 37 is also full of absurd, special interest exemptions. It requires special labels on soy milk, but exempts cow's milk. Pet foods containing meat require labels, but meats for human consumption do not. Food sold in the grocery store would require a label, but food sold in restaurants would not. Food imported from China and other foreign countries are exempt if sellers simply claim their products are "GE free," allowing unscrupulous foreign companies to game the system.

 

Prop. 37 sets no limit on how many millions would be spent on bureaucracy, red tape and lawsuits. It's a blank check, paid by taxpayers, and a hidden food tax paid by families at the check-out line.

 

The US Food and Drug Administration says such a labeling policy would "be inherently misleading" and the American Medical Association recently concluded that "there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered food."

 

Prop. 37 was written by a trial lawyer who specializes in filing lawsuits against businesses. It creates a whole new category of shakedown lawsuits allowing lawyers to sue farmers, grocers, and food companies - without any proof of violation or harm. These lawsuits will cost food companies, farmers, grocers and ultimately consumers millions.

 

The opposition campaign includes the California Small Business Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, California Women for Agriculture, Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Western Growers Association, California Grain and Feed Association, California Taxpayer Protection Committee, California State Conference of the NAACP and many others.

 

We strongly encourage our members to learn more and sign up and join the opposition coalition at www.NoProp37.com . Please also follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 



 

Furthering the Biobased Economy

 

A Weekly Message from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack..... 

As drought continues across America, President Obama and I continue doing all we can to help farmers and ranchers. Last week, at the President's direction, I convened a meeting of the White House Rural Council to ensure we're doing all we can - and we'll meet again to discuss drought in the coming days. We'll also continue to call on Congress to pass a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible, to give USDA more tools to help and to give more certainty to producers in this difficult time.

 

Meanwhile, at USDA we continue our work to help grow the economy and create jobs. This includes our support for innovative producers and rural businesses who are already working hard to boost the emerging bio-economy.  From household products made of homegrown crops, to remarkable advanced biofuels that are powering America's ships and aircraft, the bio-based economy is strengthening our nation while bringing more jobs and economic security to rural America.

 

Today, more than 3,000 companies are producing more than 25,000 biobased products made from renewable sources grown here at home, and supporting 100,000 American jobs. These companies are developing a wide variety of products - from cleaners and paints to construction materials - for use at home, at work, and by industry.  USDA has created the "USDA Certified Biobased Product" label to help consumers identify these products - and today more than 700 of them are available in stores.

 

President Obama also directed the Federal government to increase procurement of bio-based products - and USDA has increased the number of bio-based products for Federal procurement to more than 9,000 in 77 categories.   We've also continued working to expand the program to even more categories, to support the innovative companies, farmers and communities who are on the cutting edge of the biobased economy.

 

Meanwhile, under the Obama Administration, USDA has made historic investments into the research and development of advanced renewable fuels - another key part of the growing biobased economy. We've coordinated research centers in every region of the country to research the science needed for profitable, advanced biofuels feedstocks. Through the Biorefinery Assistance Program, we've provided nearly 570 million dollars in loans to 7 advanced biorefineries across the country. These projects are using feedstocks like crop residue, woody biomass, municipal waste, and more to bring next-generation renewable energy to every part of our nation.

 

Under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, we've incentivized farmers to grow advanced feedstocks on nearly 60,000 acres, helping companies across the country spur production of new biofuels from non-food, non-feed sources.  We're also working with the military to develop the next generation of aviation and marine biofuels from advanced feedstocks, helping reduce our military's dependence on foreign oil. In fact, the Navy's "Great Green Fleet" recently ran training exercises in Hawaii, powered entirely by advanced biofuels. President Obama and I know that these advances are just the beginning. With support from USDA, the innovation of producers and rural businesses will continue to set us apart from the world in the decades to come. I'm confident that together we will create more homegrown jobs, and fuel our rural economy to new heights.

 

Disaster Bill OK'd by House; Senate Refuses to Act as Congress Recesses

House leadership, facing broad opposition, couldn't find the votes for a one-year Farm Bill extension, so a disaster bill - deemed "unnecessary" by most major ag groups - moved without Farm Bill language and was approved this week by the full House. The Senate, however, refused to take up the measure, and Congress is now in formal recess until September 10. The $383-million disaster bill is directed at livestock producers and other farmers not covered by federal crop insurance, reimbursing losses due to drought, wildfires and other natural disasters. The bill continues four USDA disaster programs for livestock producers set to expire, including the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), but covers 2012 disasters only.  

 

Under these programs farmers and ranchers would get as much as $100,000 per person to offset rising feed costs and losses due to animal deaths, with USDA compensating producers for 75% of the value of livestock killed by drought and 60% of feed costs for up to three months. ELAP includes another $20 million for feed and water shortages. House members paid for the bill by cutting spending by $639 million over 10 years out of two conservation programs - the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - a move used in past years to offset the cost of disaster help. The net savings - about $256 million - would go to deficit reduction. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D, MI), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, took to the floor immediately after the House passed the bill, saying "I'm not passing a bill that only covers some help for some producers. It doesn't even cover 72 out 83 (disaster) counties in Michigan," a reference to her state's specialty crop producers.  

 

Ag committee ranking member, Sen. Pat Roberts (R, KS), however, was not pleased. "I am outraged the Senate Democrats have left town without even considering the House-passed disaster package. They are playing politics with a devastating drought...things are burning up out there. Why not pass this bill?" Roberts said. Stabenow said the Senate will fashion a "bipartisan stand-alone, comprehensive disaster assistance program" in September if it isn't included in a five-year Farm Bill reinvention.

 

Congress Agrees to Kick Appropriations Work into 2013 with Six-Month CR

 

House and Senate leadership as expected this week walked away from individual FY2013 appropriations bill action and agreed to a six-month continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded at FY2012 levels through March 31, 2013. This means there are no changes in existing program funding, nor do any of the various amendments accepted during committee consideration of the 12 pending funding bills survive. Formal approval of the measure is expected in September when Congress returns from its five-week August recess on September 10. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH), cut the deal earlier this week, agreeing there will be no amendments allowed on the measure when it comes to the floors of the respective chambers. This pact effectively punts any action on FY2013 spending into the new Congress.

 

Over One-Third of House Wants RFS Waiver; Senate Wants Federal Drought Task Force

In the wake of last week's filing by 20 national livestock, poultry feed and meat processing groups of a formal request to Administrator Lisa Jackson to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for ethanol as U.S. corn production withers under the worst drought in 60 years, 156 members of the House this week sent a bipartisan letter to Jackson demanding she take emergency action and waive the RFS immediately. At the same time, President Obama received a bipartisan letter from 15 Senators - who noted 65% of the nation is now affected by the drought - urging him to create a federal Drought Task Force "to bring together all agencies of government that have responsibilities related to agriculture, public lands, energy, water, public health and emergency response, as well as the Office of Management & Budget (OMB)...to report as soon as possible on the severity of the drought, the impacts and expected impacts to all sectors of the economy, the options available to address drought under current law, and fiscally responsible recommendations for congressional action to further assist those impacted by drought."  

 

The House RFS effort, led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R, VA), former chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Jim Costa (D, CA), committee member, and colleagues Rep. Mike McIntyre (D, NC) and Rep. Steve Womack (R, AR), was unveiled at a Capitol Hill press conference August 2. The House members detailed the devastating impact of the drought on their constituents, saying "another short corn crop would be devastating to animal agriculture, the feed industry, food manufacturers, foodservice providers and consumers." The Renewable Fuels Assn. (RFA) which slammed last week's EPA petition filed by livestock, poultry, feed and processing industries, held its own press event, saying an RFS waiver "will not make it rain in Indiana, bring pastures to life in the plains or meaningfully lower corn prices." RFA said ethanol refiners have a number of options - including using 2.5 billion ethanol credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to reduce corn demand - to meet the RFS other than physically blending ethanol with gasoline, and noted that domestic ethanol demand for corn is down 15% in the last six weeks. RFA President Bob Dineen said, "Simply put, the RFA is working and knee-jerk reactions to acts of God will not provide the kind of relief some are seeking."

 

Farm Bill Extension Dead; House, Senate Target August Discussions, September Action

 

With major agriculture, conservation, credit, and environmental groups all arrayed against a one-year extension of the current Farm Bill, and with the Senate pounding on the House to get its act together to pass a full five-year reinvention of federal farm programs, House leadership this week killed off the extension bill, quietly permitting its agriculture leadership to work it out with the Senate. To that end, House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R, OK) and his ranking member Rep. Collin Peterson (D, MN) met late this week with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D, MI), chair of the Senate ag panel, her ranking member Sen. Pat Roberts (R, KS) and other Senators to try and find a way forward to full Farm Bill enactment this year.  

 

Stabenow, who told one reporter the meeting was "great" but wouldn't give details, said publicly she wants a full-five year Farm Bill or failing that, a more comprehensive disaster bill than the bill passed by the House this week. House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff have been holding informal discussions for the last few weeks to identify areas of agreement between the Senate passed Farm Bill and the House Agriculture Committee approved version. Both Stabenow and Lucas have acknowledged these meetings will continue through August, apparently in hopes compromises can be found on the two big differences in the chambers' respective bills: Commodity title income support and cuts to federal food assistance programs. No major decisions can be agreed to without the four committee principals in the room, Lucas stressed. The pressure is on Lucas and Peterson since there are only eight congressional work days in September before the scheduled recess for electioneering.

 

House Committee Approves Methyl Bromide Bill

 

A bill to increase access to the fumigant methyl bromide for critical uses was approved this week by the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Under the bill, EPA could not reject an application for methyl bromide use without "substantial evidence" there is a technically and economically viable alternative. Methyl bromide was targeted for a ban in the Montreal Protocol signed by the U.S. in 1987, and has largely been replaced by workable alternatives in a number of applications for over 10 years; however, its use as a grain fumigant has not been supplanted by any chemical as effective or as "economically viable." Most of the committee debate centered on whether or not to expand the definition of critical use, but those hoping to maintain the status quo lost.

 

State Board to Discuss Agricultural Labor at its Upcoming Meeting on August 7th - Agenda includes Immigration, Housing and Transportation Issues

 

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will address agricultural labor issues at its upcoming meeting on August 7, 2012. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Country Fairgrounds (Harvest Hall), 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076.  
 
"Agricultural labor is about people, families and communities," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "The report California Ag Vision, Strategies for Sustainability calls for private sector initiatives, administrative measures and legislation to adopt a suite of policies and actions to assure a strong labor force through fairness to agricultural workers and employers. The food production that starts in the fields and orchards of California is highly reliant upon hand labor, and we need to take a strong leadership role to ensure we are responsive to the needs of employees and employers." 

 

Nationally, approximately 75 percent of farm workers are foreign born and 72 percent were born in Mexico, according to a National Agricultural Workers Survey published in 2009.  About half of California's crop workers are unauthorized, according to the same survey. California is the largest agricultural producer in the nation, representing approximately 16 percent of national crop receipts and 7 percent of U.S. revenue for livestock and livestock products.

Scheduled speakers include: Carol House, Committee on National Statistics; Craig Regelbrugge, Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform; Monte Lake, CJ Lake, LLC; Guadalupe Sandoval, California Farm Labor Contractors Association; Jeanne Malitz, American Immigration Lawyers Association; Ellen Brokaw, Brokaw Nursery, LLC; Tom Collishaw, Self-Help Enterprises; and Manuel Cunha, Nisei Farmers League.

"As farmers we struggle to meet our labor needs in the fields and this impacts consumers," said President Craig McNamara, California State Board of Food and Agriculture. "Unless we develop forward thinking solutions at the national level, we will see undesirable changes on supermarket shelves and in our farming communities."

 

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs.  The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

 

Follow the board on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Cafood_agboard 

 

MFG, PFG Targeted in House, Senate Hearings

 

Both House and Senate Agriculture Committees continue their investigations into the bankruptcy of MF Global (MFG) and the misappropriation of customer money by Peregrine Financial Group (PFG), with the National Grain & Feed Assn. (NGFA) telling both panels the insolvency and theft "has created a huge loss of confidence in the adequacy of current rules to protect customer funds, as well as the adequacy of regulatory oversight." The House Agriculture Committee heard Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Gary Gensler attest to his commissions enforcement work over the last two years, but Gensler called the PFG episode one of "direct deception," seemingly trying to draw a difference between MFG and PFG. However, NGFA said the PFG incident, in which more than $200 million in customer money was used for illegal purposes over a long period of time, demonstrates MFG was not a "one-time incident, and that the cumulative effect of both incidents calls for immediate action to protect customer funds and restore confidence in the system.

 

Court Challenges to HOS Rules Increasing

 

The number of court challenges to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) final hours-of-service (HOS) that went into effect in February is increasing, and the first court challenge was presented before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last week. In that action, the American Trucking Assn. (ATA) challenged the rule that limits drivers to a 34-hour "restart" once a week, and that each restart include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. While arguing the rules will dramatically increase the costs of operation, a major part of the ATA challenge, supported by five truck operator and shipper groups, is that current HOS rules work well and should not be changed. This week, the National Chicken Council (NCC), the National Turkey Federation (NTF) and U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPEA), joined a 14-group food industry coalition to challenge the FMCSA rulemaking. The coalition also argued there is no reason to change current HOS rules, saying that during a severe driver shortage, the new rules will increase the need for drivers and raise costs in the face of higher fuel costs, consolidation in the industry and a "fragile" national economic recovery.

 

Senate Finance Approves First Tax Bill, Includes Tax Break Extenders

The Senate Finance Committee this week marked up its first "tax bill," legislation that would extend through 2013 approximately 100 expired tax breaks including those for biodiesel, renewable diesel and wind energy. However, the committee's action spurred renewal of debate about the cost of so-called "temporary" federal tax breaks - estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) at $15.7 billion over 10 years - and the need for broader reform of the federal tax code. The package put forward by Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT), chair of the Finance Committee includes the alternative energy tax credits, but also a business tax credit for research and development, an alternative minimum tax (AMT) adjustment and the deduction for local state sales taxes. Other tax breaks include incentives for business to invest in low-income areas, along with military and other business breaks. The House Ways & Means Committee is also working on a set of tax reform bills; the hope of committee chair Rep. Dave Camp (R, MI) is that the House and Senate can resolve these issues in a single bill that would be taken up in the lame duck session of Congress set for after the November election.

 

Safety Corner

Grain Handling and Storage

There are numerous safety and health hazards associated with grain handling operations.

 

One of these hazards is suffocation and or entrapment. Suffocation in grain bins usually occurs when a person is buried while the bin is being emptied. Flowing grain can quickly submerge a worker and cause suffocation.


Grain Handling and Storage - English


Discusses grain handling and storage safety precautions.
 Grain Handling and Storage - English

Grain Handling and Storage - Spanish

Discusses grain handling and storage safety precautions.
 Grain Handling and Storage - Spanish

(Source:  InterWest Insurance Services Inc.)

 

DTSC Releases Green Chemistry Regulations

 

The Department of Toxic Substance Control released their most recent version of the long sought after Green Chemistry Regulations. The regulations can be viewed at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCPRegulations.cfm. The public comment period will close on September 11th with a public hearing scheduled for September 10th.

 

While the law authorizing the Green Chemistry program exempts pesticides, agricultural operations, food processors and suppliers may be affected in a broad array of products such as lubricants, cleaners and sanitizers and in future composition of materials used for equipment. The association has been actively working in an industry coalition commenting and managing the regulatory implementation process.  

 

Governor and Federal Officials Announce Water Plan

Governor Jerry Brown, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Assistant Administrator of NOAA Eric Schwaab convened a joint press conference to announce key elements for a comprehensive plan that seeks to establish water supply reliability and restoration of the Delta environment.   The draft environmental documentation will be released this fall. Below are links to the announcement and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan websites.

 

 http://resources.ca.gov/docs/July_25_Announcement_w_Audio.pdf  

 http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Home.aspx 

 

Here are the major elements in the announcement:

 

Conservation: The BDCP will contain biological goals and objectives to improve the status of a wide variety of listed species and species of concern under the Endangered Species Act, and will quickly implement new habitat projects in the Suisun Marsh and the Delta upon completion of appropriate environmental reviews.

 

Cooperation and Governance: State and U.S. governments will work cooperatively with local water agencies, environmental organizations, and Delta governments and districts under a proposed governance structure to achieve an open, transparent, and inclusive process.  

 

Finance: State and U.S. governments are committed to the "user pay" principle, and the state and federal water contractors agree that the costs of the new water conveyance facility and associated mitigation of that facility will be paid through charges to the water users who would benefit from its development and operation. Habitat and other conservation measures in the BDCP would be financed in part by the contractors, but would mostly be paid by the state over a period of 40 years, with likely additional investment by the federal government through existing programs.  

 

Adaptive Management: The proposal reflects the shared commitment by state and U.S. governments to incorporate adaptive management to ensure flexibility as factors such as climate change, new invasive species and flow patterns are considered.

 

Protecting Upstream Water Users: State and U.S. governments will make sure implementation of BDCP will not result in adverse effects on the water rights of those in the watershed of the Delta, nor will it impose any obligations on water users upstream of the Delta to supplement flows in and through the Delta.  

 

Improved Water Management State-wide: State and U.S. governments will continue to explore new ways to satisfy competing water demands, including commitments to an Integrated Water Management approach, reducing water demand, increasing water supply, and improving efficiency of operations. With respect to agricultural water use, the Bureau of Reclamation has worked with local water agencies to invest close to $50 million over the last eight years in efficiency improvements in California. Reclamation is now partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide funding for projects that improve water management and create new supplies for agricultural irrigation.