The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Board is making additional funding available for two air quality incentive programs that provide assistance for agricultural operations within the boundaries of the Valley Air District. The on-field alternatives to open burning of agricultural materials pilot incentive program and the low dust nut harvester pilot incentive program will each be receiving an additional $1 million in funding.
The alternatives to open burning of agricultural materials program is used to provide incentive funding to encourage commercial ag operations to chip or shred any agricultural material. To be eligible, farmers have to use the material for soil incorporation or land application as an alternative to the burning of the material. Certain crop types include orchard removal as part of the eligibility criteria. Applicants who will be chipping the material with soil incorporation may receive up to $600 per acre, for a maximum of $60,000 per year. Farmers who wish to chip without soil incorporation are eligible for up to $300 per acre with a $30,000 maximum per year. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis while funds remain available.
The low dust nut harvester pilot incentive program provides funding to replace older, conventional harvesters or sweepers with new, low-dust technology equipment. The new low-dust harvesting equipment must be able to demonstrate a reduction of at least 40 percent of particulate matter emissions to be eligible for incentive funding. Those already receiving funding from local, state, or federal agencies for equipment intended to be replaced are ineligible to apply for the District program for that particular piece of equipment.
Through a combined public and private investment of more than $2 billion, the District has been able to reduce emissions through a variety of air quality incentive programs. More information regarding the application process and eligibility requirements are available at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District website.