The On-Farm Compost Work Group

California's Healthy Soils Initiative

The On-Farm Compost Work Group is an interagency collaboration between 15 federal, state, and regional agencies. The group is committed to developing a regulatory pathway to address permitting challenges and create incentives to support on-farm composting of agricultural materials to decrease nutrient loading, reduce agricultural burning, and improve soil health.

What does the work group do?

The work group will form committees focused on permitting and regulatory alignments, net community impact of composting, and solution implementation. Each agency will allocate relevant staff to each committee. These committees will also engage with subject matter experts and community stakeholders to solicit their feedback on proposals and deliverables. The work group will meet regularly to review, discuss, and approve the proposals and deliverables developed by committees. The process will be coordinated by CDFA, USDA NRCS, CalEPA, and U.S. EPA.

What are the expected outcomes?

The specific deliverables will be determined and developed through the committees. Some suggested deliverables include:

  • Proposals, if applicable, for how on-farm composting regulations could be more aligned across agencies, including strategies and timelines for implementation
  • A manual to clarify regulations and best practices for farmers and make it easier to navigate the permitting process
  • Data regarding the net impact of on-farm compost including recommendations to mitigate impacts and promote public health and safety, particularly for disadvantaged communities

How long will the process take?

The work group kicked off on December 12, 2019 and will meet in person every six weeks for a year. Committees will meet more frequently to develop proposals and deliverables for the group’s review. Each proposal or deliverable will have its own implementation timeline. It is anticipated that the committees will begin soliciting stakeholder input in mid-2020.

Get Involved

The work group committees will solicit input from subject matter experts and stakeholders as they develop deliverables. If you would like to be involved, contact either:

Lead Agencies

CDFA logo
USDA logo
CalEPA logo
EPA logo