Northstate farmers are breathing a sigh of relief following a major Supreme Court ruling on water protections.
In a 5-4 vote, the ruling makes it harder for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate certain bodies of water, narrowing the definition for which waterways can be considered “protected” and therefore require a permit for discharges.
“The permitting process with the federal government was really unclear,” said Jocelyn Anderson, farm manager at GSA Farms in Orland. She grows almonds and walnuts with her father.
“If we had to pull a permit, we wouldn’t know how long it would take to get the permit, what we would have to go through to just even apply for the permit…if we had to have a lot of financial backing because we had to hire consultants or lawyers to help us with the permit. On top of that, who knows how long it would’ve taken to receive a permit? If we had to cease all operations on our farm until we received that permit, who knows if we could even grow a crop throughout the year,” she said.