Valley Air District Offers Clean Air Funding for Sustainable Agriculture

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Clean Air Funding has replaced over 16,000 pieces of heavily polluting farm equipment and the open burning of over 109,000 acres (nearly 3,000,000 tonnes of wood waste) has been eliminated through non-combustion alternatives, including chipping and soil incorporation.

These are just two examples of the close collaboration between the farms, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Valley Air District), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and the United States Environmental Protection. Agency (EPA) by providing significant reductions in air pollution, toxic air contaminants and greenhouse gases through a public and private partnership to deploy the latest and cleanest technologies.

Incentive-based efforts have significantly reduced air pollution from various farms through cost-shared grant programs with applicants, with increased incentive funding for small farms facing the greatest transition challenges to new equipment.

Sources of funding supporting these clean air efforts include local funding from the Valley Air District, California Climate Investments and other state funding, as well as federal law funding. Federal Government on Diesel Emissions Reduction and Targeted Airshed Subsidy. As key examples of funding currently available, the district recently accepted $168.4 million from the State of California under the Agricultural Alternative Measures for Emissions Reductions (FARMER) funding program and $180 million for the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning program.

“The District appreciates the Governor, State Legislature and Federal Government recognizing the public health benefits that result from these clean air investments,” said Samir Sheikh, Executive Director/Compliance Officer of the air pollution for the Valley Air District.

“The agricultural sector in the San Joaquin Valley feeds our nation and the world, and the sustainable agricultural strategies put in place by the Valley Air District Board of Directors enable our Valley producers to produce the best products and quality harvests using the cleanest practices and equipment,” Stanislaus said. County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, Chairman of the Valley Air District Board of Directors.

District incentive programs provide funding to farmers, matched with applicant funding, to voluntarily replace their older, dirtier equipment with new, much cleaner equipment. To ensure equitable access to these resources, small producers are offered additional incentives, including:

· Farm Tractor Replacement Program:

o Farms of 100 acres or less can now receive up to 80% off the cost of eligible new certified equipment

o Farms of 100 acres or less can now receive up to 80% off the cost of qualifying Tier 3 Certified Pre-Owned equipment

o Operations between 101 and 500 acres can now receive up to 70% off the cost of qualifying new certified equipment.

· Alternatives to the Open Burn Incentive Program

o Operations of 100 acres or less can now receive an additional $100 per acre (in addition to $300 to $1,300 per acre depending on crop type and practice) to deploy clean alternatives to open burning

In addition to these programs, the district offers a variety of programs to support farmers, residents, businesses, and public agencies in the valley with cleaner equipment, vehicles, and practices. Visit www.valleyair.org/grants or call the grants team at 559-230-5800 for more information.

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