Water inspectors get on board

State water quality board agrees to monitor local marijuana grows

After initially saying the job is too dangerous, the state Regional Water Quality Control Board has agreed to inspect marijuana-growing operations in the Butte County foothills.

Earlier this year, the county sent a request to the board asking that it provide inspectors locally. The request was denied because of the perceived dangers posed by some of the growers.

According to a press release from state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), he and Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville) met with local officials, state water board staff and a representative of Gov. Jerry Brown to discuss the environmental impacts of the grows, which can involve the illegal grading of soil that leads to erosion and the runoff of pesticides and fertilizers into area streams and lakes. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office will provide protection for the inspectors.

“We will all benefit from this effort to ensure the quality of the water,” Nielsen said in the press release.