The board of directors for the Northeastern San Joaquin County Groundwater Banking Authority voted to formally endorse Measure C, the organization announced Thursday.
Measure C is the ballot measure that would enable the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District to impose a fee to recharge the area's groundwater basin. Measure C has also been endorsed by the Lodi Chamber of Commerce and the Lodi City Council.
Supporters of Measure C believe the district needs to be able to collect a fee so it can rebuild its infrastructure, make the most of its 20,000-acre-foot allocation of wet-year water and replenish the region's groundwater basin. Opponents of Measure C do not trust the district and believe approval of the measure is equal to giving the district a blank check.
The measure will go before voters on the June 8 Primary Election Ballot.
State officials postpone ban on burning waste
Farmers can keep burning some agricultural waste after California air authorities voted Thursday to postpone a full ban on the polluting practice for two years.
The California Air Resources Board's decision pushed back a June 1 deadline initially set by pollution-control legislation targeting air quality problems in the San Joaquin Valley and other rural areas.
The move allows the burning of prunings, clippings and rice field stubble that would be too expensive to dispose of in any other way, board spokesman Stanley Young said.
Agency officials intend to revisit their decision in 90 days, after the state Senate Select Committee on Air Quality conducts a June 16 hearing.
Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, who authored legislation aimed at curbing pollution, questioned estimates of disposal costs presented by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
The report argued that a full ban on burning ag waste would not be economically feasible for some farmers.
The Senate committee meeting will reassess those estimates while bringing together farmers, scientists and others with a stake in the process, Florez said.
— Associated Press