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Funding available to reduce air emissions


May 4, 2009
By USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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May 4, 2009, Davis, Calif. – Farmers interested in reducing air quality
emissions are invited to apply for 2008 federal Farm Bill funding.
May 4, 2009, Davis, Calif. – Farmers interested in reducing air quality emissions are invited to apply for 2008 federal Farm Bill funding.

“The primary goal of this new portion of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is to help farmers and ranchers attain the standards set by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” said Ed Burton, California State Conservationist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “Producers in the 36 California counties that are currently not in compliance with one or more of these standards can apply for this program.”

Burton added that producers in all California counties will continue to be encouraged to do air quality conservation, working through the agency’s technical assistance and regular EQIP allocation. NRCS and agricultural producers in California have spent more than $73 million on air quality projects funded through EQIP since 1998.

There are 36 counties eligible to use the new funds to help achieve compliance with the ambient air quality standards for eight hour ozone and PM10 and PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 10 and 2.5 microns, respectively). The eligible counties are: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.

NRCS has worked with academic, conservation, regulatory and industry groups to identify agricultural practices that will reduce ozone precursors [oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)] and particulate matter [respirable (PM10) and fine (PM2.5)] emissions from agricultural sources. Applications will be ranked according to the amount of emission reductions achieved in the proposed plan.

Funded practices include the NRCS’ combustion system air emissions management practice to improve high polluting, fully functional engines with newer, reduced-emission technologies that meet or exceed current emission standards. Stationary, portable and heavy-duty off-road mobile systems will be included. Other covered air quality practices will include conservation tillage, dust control on farm roads, precision pest control, and manure injection.

For the complete list of practices and for information on how payments will be calculated see www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/2009/index.html or visit with your local NRCS conservationists.

Interested applicants in eligible counties should contact their local NRCS service center.


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