SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will begin inspecting illegal marijuana grows across Northern California, reversing an earlier ban designed to protect employees

The Sacramento Bee reports ( http://bit.ly/19ybkUZ) that last week the water board directed staff to join law enforcement in the field and write citations when appropriate.

Law enforcement agencies across the board's 37-county region had sought the help of scientists so they could prosecute growers who flatten hilltops, divert streams or cause sediment to run into waterways.

Previously they had not been held to the same standards as traditional farmers.

The change of policy also is being considered by the state's other regional boards after Assemblyman Dan Logue of Butte County protested that a state agency was refusing to enforce state laws.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com