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in the KNOW

November 4, 2015

Ag Council Comments on Air Board’s Draft Strategy to Reduce Methane

Ag Council recently provided comments and expressed concern regarding the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) draft proposal to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). ARB’s goal is to significantly reduce SLCP emissions by 2030 to meet future greenhouse gas emissions targets and air quality goals. ARB is undertaking this effort pursuant to legislation signed into law last year – SB 605 by Senator Lara (D-Bell Gardens).

As background, SLCPs are greenhouse gases including methane and the group of pollutants called black carbon. These types of emissions are released from manure management, the digestive process of cattle, agricultural burning and the combustion of older diesel engines.

ARB recently released a Draft Strategy for public review, and Ag Council participated in an ARB workshop in October. We are particularly concerned about ARB’s aggressive manure methane reduction targets for dairies and the proposed approach for new and expanding dairies, among other issues in the draft plan. Ag Council’s comment letter in response to the proposed methane emission reduction measures is available HERE.

ARB staff will present the SLCP Strategy to the Board in December. Ag Council remains engaged on this issue, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at ph. 916.443.4887.

CDFA Now Accepting Proposals for 2016 Specialty Crop Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting proposals for the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The competitive program awards funds to projects that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.

Phase I of the competitive process begins with the submission of concept proposals that undergo both an administrative review conducted by CDFA as well as a technical review. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a detailed grant proposal in Phase II of the process.

Proposals must be submitted by December 4, 2015. Click HERE for further information regarding the application process on CDFA’s website.

Incentives Available to Upgrade to Cleaner Trucks and Engines

Applications are open for a program providing financial incentives for owners of freight movement equipment interested in upgrading to cleaner technologies. Incentive funds to local air districts, via funding from the California Air Resources Board (ARB), could be used for truck or engine replacement, if appropriate. The deadline to apply for the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program is November 20.

Eligible project efforts include: upgrading equipment to zero emission and hybrid vehicles capable of zero emission miles, as well as vehicles certified to the lowest optional NOx standard, truck projects to assist small fleets to upgrade to cleaner technology, and projects to upgrade trucks, transportation refrigeration units (TRUs), and cargo handling to zero and near-zero emission equipment.

This is not a rebate program. Any new truck or new engine purchased, or installed prior to contract execution is ineligible.

For more information, please visit the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program homepage HERE (for application info, click on the Air Quality Management District that represents your area).