Six Central Coast farms fined for not complying with new ag runoff rules

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said six farms had violated new California rules on agricultural runoff. The farms were in violation of 2004 rules.

Six Central Coast farms — including one in San Luis Obispo County — have been fined nearly $36,000 for failing to comply with the state’s agricultural runoff rules.

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board filed liability complaints against the six farms for failing to submit either cooperative monitoring fees or individual monitoring reports, the agency said in a news release.

Farmers have the choice of participating in a cooperative monitoring program for a fee or doing the monitoring themselves. Monitoring is a key component in the rules, which are intended to reduce polluted runoff from irrigated agricultural operations.

The water board will hear the complaints when it meets in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 12. The farms cited are:

  • Garcia Farms and Enrique Garcia of Salinas fined $19,410.
  • B&E Vineyard and Jerry Bello of Paso Robles fined $3,090.
  • Rincon Farms, Amesti Road Ranch and Ramon Torres of Freedom, near Watsonville, fined $3,090.
  • Mine Brothers and Gary Mine of Malatesta Ranch of Watsonville fined $5,514.
  • Vidal Medina of Watsonville fined $2,700.
  • Gomes Orchards and Joe Gomes of Hollister fined $2,070.
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