The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today unanimously approved a plan to phase out agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley by 2025. As previously reported, CCM staff worked with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and CARB staff to avoid an immediate prohibition. Importantly, the adopted plan recognizes the need for incentive funding and state investment in burning alternatives and bioenergy production.
CCM staff commented at the Board’s hearing about the disproportionate impact to small growers and how incentive funds can be used in the short term to address the cost and accessibility challenges of chipping/hauling services and equipment.
CCM worked with our partners representing other agricultural commodities over the past several months to advocate for this phased reduction approach that is coupled with new and substantial state funding. Last week, CCM staff met with the Governor’s office to start what will be an extensive lobby effort by all of agriculture to secure this critical funding starting in the 2021-22 State Budget.
While we appreciate there will be a cost to the industry in transitioning away from burning, we are confident that the proposal adopted today by CARB is the best outcome following months of debate and negotiation between agriculture, regulators, and the environmental justice community.
To view the phase-out schedule for citrus, click here.
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