The Ag Order

The Central Coast Region’s Agricultural Order (Ag Order) regulates water that is discharged from agricultural operations under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act of 1969, which states that California will regulate water to the highest quality that is reasonable to preserve it for the use and enjoyment of the people.  To improve water quality from agricultural runoff and infiltration, the Ag Order requires that growers comply with several conditions such as developing and implementing a Farm Plan, water quality monitoring of surface and ground water, and enrolling in the Order.  The 2012 Ag Order includes a tiered system based on perceived relative risk of operations to water quality.

Tier 1
• NO chlorpyrifos or diazinon applied,
• NO impaired surface water or public drinking water well, AND
• If nitrogen loading crop, must be less than 50 acres.
• OR Certified Sustainable-In-Practice (SIP).

Tier 2
• Chlorpyrifos or diazinon applied,
• Impaired surface water or public drinking water well, OR
• If nitrogen loading crop, between 50 – 500 acres.

Tier 3
• Chlorpyrifos or diazinon applied, and discharge to impaired surface water; OR
• If nitrogen loading crop, greater than or equal to 500 acres.

Sources of Help:
Photo Monitoring Protocol
Information, forms, and resources at the Regional Board Website
General Background and History
Farm Water Quality Plan Templates and the Central Coast Agricultural Water Quality Coalition