Spring 2015       |      Cindi A. Christenson, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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Contractors Who Prep Pot Growing Sites Must Follow State Laws


C-12 Earthwork and Paving contractors who prepare properties for marijuana cultivation will be held at least partly responsible for causing environmental damage under a new program launched by a coalition of California water boards and other agencies.

The Cannabis Cultivation Enforcement Initiative is intended to address the impact that marijuana growing is having upon California's groundwater and surface water resources. Part of the problem stems from such issues as improper grading of growing sites and failure to properly contain sediment, which leads to erosion and runoff that carries contaminants into creek systems. In addition, marijuana growers have been terracing unsuitable sites, constructing dams, and building roads without permits.

The State Water Resources Control Board can levy fines in excess of $10,000 per day if industry standards are not followed. Contracting without a license can result in misdemeanor charges, up to six months in jail, a $5,000 court fine, and up to $15,000 in administrative fines from CSLB.

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