If you are growing cannabis in California within the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board District and have 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area you are required to enroll in the Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program. The deadline for enrollment in this program is Feb. 15, 2016. To enroll you must fill out a Notice of Intent form and return it to the Water Board. If you are growing cannabis with 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area and have not submitted this form you are out of compliance and subject to enforcement action.
The Water Board's Resource page describes the three tiers in the progam as follows:
a) Tier 1 is a low-threat tier based on compliance with standard conditions and site characteristics (less than 5000 ft2 of total cultivated area, no cultivation on slopes greater than 35%, no cultivation areas or associated facilities are located within 200 feet of a surface water (i.e., wetland, Class I, II, or III streams), and no surface water diversion from May 15 - October 31. The annual fee is $1000.
b) Tier 2 is a management tier for operations that do not meet the standard conditions or otherwise do not qualify for Tier 1. Within 180 days of enrollment, Tier 2 enrollees shall develop and implement a site-specific water resource protection plan that includes management measures to be implemented to meet the standard conditions. The annual fee is $2500.
c) Tier 2* is a tier for operations with less than 10,000 ft2 of total cultivated area, where enrollees have fully implemented a water resource protection plan, meet the standard conditions, and are determined by RWB staff or an approved third party to pose a low threat to water quality. The annual fee is $1000.
d) Tier 3 is a cleanup tier, which requires the development and implementation of a cleanup and restoration plan. A Tier 3 enrollee has 45 days to develop and submit a cleanup and restoration plan for RWB approval. Tier 3 is not eligible for enrollment via a third party program. Tier 3 Dischargers who are cultivating cannabis concurrent with or following site cleanup activities must also enroll in and conform with Tier 2 requirements. The annual fee is $10,000.
Use the SoundCloud Module below to listen to an interview on KMUD News with Ed Denson, a local attorney specializing in marijuana defense, discussing the importance of submitting the Notice of Intent. This interview was aired on KMUD Feb. 9, 2016.