SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has announced two workshops to discuss the development of regulations to reduce emissions from mobile agricultural equipment, such as tractors, combines and harvesters. The regulations are required to address both near-term and long-term requirements under the Clean Air Act to reduce levels of ozone and will apply to mobile agricultural equipment.
The first workshop will be held Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) located at 1990 E. Gettysburg Avenue in Fresno. (There will be alternative locations with live video feed of the workshop at the SJVAPCD offices in Modesto and Bakersfield.)
The second workshop will be Friday, March 15, 2013 from 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at Cal/EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento.
ARB is proposing a two-step approach to the rule-making to address these agricultural sources of diesel emissions in the San Joaquin Valley.
The first step addresses a near-term Clean Air Act requirement, and would implement the 2007 State Implementation Plan (SIP) to address the current 8-hour ozone standards. The near-term rulemaking, which would be submitted to the Board in late 2013, will establish the framework for accounting for the voluntary actions by the agricultural industry to reduce emissions through their participation in incentive funding programs that accelerate the use of the cleanest available technology equipment (primarily Tier 3 off-road engines in mobile agricultural equipment) in the San Joaquin Valley.
Agricultural organizations working with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, ARB, United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), have signed a Statement of Principles that allows for a mechanism to be developed that will provide industry with credit for the investments made to clean up mobile agricultural equipment. ARB's action makes formal the written agreement already reached among the agencies.
The second step addresses the need to develop a new SIP in the San Joaquin Valley, to be developed in 2014 and submitted to US EPA in 2015, for the new 8-hour ozone standard. That SIP will lay out a plan to meet the new ozone standard by the 2032 deadline.
Strategies to be considered will include a wide range of approaches, including those that depend on the future availability of the cleanest technologies in mobile agricultural equipment. While new SIPs will also be needed for other areas of the state outside the San Joaquin Valley, additional actions for mobile agricultural equipment in those areas are not expected to be needed to meet the federal attainment deadlines.
As ARB moves forward on strategies to reduce mobile agricultural equipment emissions in the San Joaquin Valley, a continued reliance on financial incentives from United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, state and local sources is critical. These monies are expected to fund near-term equipment upgrades and replacements, and longer-term approaches, such as an equipment trade-down program, to maximize the use of the cleanest advanced technologies available for mobile agricultural equipment.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.