NEWS & ISSUES

Upcoming AgSafe Trainings

AgSafe will be holding various Pesticide Compliance Continuing Education Webinars throughout September and October. These webinars will cover the general practices of EPA and DPR pesticide compliance, as well as the comprehensive strategies and current regulation systems that go along with pest management.

AgSafe will also be hosting a Pesticide Safety Train the Trainer Workshop on September 18th in Fresno, CA. This course meets the requirements established by the revised Worker Protection Standard, mandated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Lastly, AgSafe’s new Online FLC Continuing Education Program will be available October 16th, 17th, and 18th.

For dates and more information about AgSafe’s Upcoming trainings, please see the links below.

Pesticide Compliance Webinar

Pesticide Safety Train the Trainer

Online FLC Continuing Education Program

 

 

Cotton Harvest Safety Training September 27th

FCFB and California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association will host their annual Cotton Harvest Safety Training in English and Spanish on Thursday, September 27, from 8 to 10 a.m., at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center, 17353 W. Oakland Ave., Five Points. The training will be provided by Zenith Agribusiness Solutions.

FREE Cotton Harvest Safety Seminar

A FREE Cotton Harvest Safety Seminar will be held September 12th from 8-11 a.m. at the Kings Fairgrounds in Hanford. The Sessions will include general equipment safety, chemical safety, road safety, and much more! To register, call the UC Cooperative Extension at 559-684-3300 or register the day-of from 7:30-8:00 a.m.

Ratepayers Left Holding the Bag for Wildfire Damages

This past week, the legislature passed SB 901 (Dodd) that will without a doubt increase our members’ electric bills for those located in the PG&E territory.  Despite Association pressure and the fact this add thousands of dollars per month to electricity rates, the legislature gave PG&E the blank check they were looking for.  Less than a week prior, with little notice and even less transparency, in typical “last week of session fashion”, the legislative conference committee tasked with addressing the wildfire and utility liability issue jammed through a massive bailout for PG&E standing with their shareholders over ratepayers, including businesses and homeowners in California who will experience skyrocketing energy bills.   The legislation, SB 901 would require ratepayers to cover whatever damages are beyond the cap placed on PG&E, even if PG&E is found negligent in the massive 2017 fires.  At $10 billion in liability, customers will pay an additional ½ cent per kWh for every kilowatt hour for the next 20 years!  The Association fought the bill vigorously alongside many ag groups, such as Western Growers Association, Ag Energy Consumers Association, California Citrus Mutual and others.  Association President/CEO Roger A. Isom stated “Our members cannot afford any more rate increases to the already highest industrial electricity rates in the country.  To put this on our backs is unequivocally unacceptable.  We refuse to pay for their negligence and wholeheartedly oppose this legislation.”

Call for Action!

The State Legislature is taking up a massive bailout for PG&E that could put much of the onus of the massive 2017 fires on the backs of ratepayers, even if PG&E is found negligent.  The legislation came to life this week, in typical “last week of session fashion”, from a legislative conference committee tasked with addressing the wildfire and utility liability issue.   Unfortunately, the committee sided with the utility and its shareholders, not ratepayers like you.  The legislation, SB 901 would require ratepayers to cover whatever damages are beyond the cap placed on PG&E, even if PG&E is found negligent in the massive 2017 fires.  At $10 billion in liability, customers will pay an additional ½ cent per kWh for every kilowatt hour for the next 20 years!  SB 901 will be voted by both the Assembly and Senate Friday night, and the Association is adamantly opposed and we need your help to stop it.  We need you to call your State Senator and Assembly representatives and let them know you wholeheartedly oppose this legislation.  Let them know how much electric rates already impact you and that businesses cannot stand any more.  It is not fair for the burden of the utilities negligence to fall on the backs of ratepayers and the time to stop this is right now!

Oppose SB 901

Ratepayers Could be Left Holding the Bag for Wildfire Damages

With little notice and even less transparency, in typical “last week of session fashion”, the legislative conference committee tasked with addressing the wildfire and utility liability issue jammed through a massive bailout for PG&E standing with their shareholders over ratepayers, including businesses and homeowners in California who will experience skyrocketing energy bills.   The legislation, SB 901 would require ratepayers to cover whatever damages are beyond the cap placed on PG&E, even if PG&E is found negligent in the massive 2017 fires.  At $10 billion in liability, customers will pay an additional ½ cent per kWh for every kilowatt hour for the next 20 years!  SB 901 will be voted by both the Assembly and Senate Friday night, and the Association is adamantly opposed.   Association President/CEO Roger A. Isom stated “Our members cannot afford any more rate increases to the already highest industrial electricity rates in the country.  To put this on our backs is unequivocally unacceptable.  We refuse to pay for their negligence and wholeheartedly oppose this legislation.”

Association Pushes Back on Plan to Replace 12,000 Tractors in Five Years

This week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a nighttime “community meeting” in Fresno to discuss the PM2.5 State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the San Joaquin Valley.  And what attendees heard was a repeat of an earlier meeting by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and not good news for agricultural interests.  At the Air District level, attendees learned that Tier 3 irrigation pump engines will now have to be replaced with Tier 4 engines or electric motors.  In addition, the Air District is going to tighten the Conservation Management Practices regulations to control fugitive dust from farms, specifically tightening restrictions on land preparation and how lands are fallowed.  On the State side, CARB confirmed the information released recently stating they will be regulating tractors and harvesters for the first time.  CARB is looking at replacing 12,000 tractors by the end of 2024!  While they will focus on the use of incentives first, it was made abundantly clear there will be a “drop dead date” by which older tractors and harvesters will have to be replaced.  The SIP relies upon at least $55 million per year in funding coming from Cap and Trade monies through 2024.  Speaking on the Industry Panel at the special meeting Association President/CEO Roger Isom said that while we appreciate the incentive approach, we have concerns with relying upon “yet unsecured funds” to replace 12,000 tractors by 2025. Isom also provided testimony opposing the fugitive dust and engines requirements.  The plan is expected to be adopted by the SJVAPCD in November and the ARB in December.