Growing for Cleaner Air
The citrus industry is helping to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. A 2012 study conducted by the CA State University, Bakersfield concluded that citrus groves have a very low emissions rate and actually absorb ozone year round.
Modern farming practices and new, low emission equipment have contributed to an 80 percent reduction in on-farm pollution in the San Joaquin Valley since the 1980s.
In 2008 the California Air Resources Board enacted a truck and bus regulation, known as the Truck Rule, to reduce particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen emissions in diesel vehicles operating in California.
Under this rule, operators of large trucks and buses must replace older vehicles with newer models. In some cases a new filter can be installed to postpone the replacement of a truck.
The regulation also contains special circumstances regarding the replacement of some agricultural vehicles.
The California Air Resources Board also encourages growers to participate in a voluntary tractor trade-in program. Both the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS) offer rebates to cover part of the cost to replace an existing tractor with a new tractor when a grower meets their specified requirements and pending available funding.