Frost Protection

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Court ruling in frost case backs farmers...

In a decision hailed as a victory by agricultural water users, a Mendocino County Superior Court judge has ruled that the state overstepped its bounds in trying to impose severely restrictive regulations on the use of sprinkler irrigation to protect vines from springtime frost.

Judge Ann Moorman ruled in late September that new frost protection regulations imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board are unconstitutional. Specifically, she ruled the board exceeded its authority by adopting regulations that failed to follow the appropriate process to determine “unreasonableness”; that the regulations were too broad because they included all classes of water rights holders; that they failed to provide for the rule of priority; that the board improperly delegated authority; and that the action was not supported by substantial evidence in the record.

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