Free workshop to deal with new emissions rules for ag

A free workshop about the permits from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District required by smaller farms with emissions greater than five tons a year will be held Monday, Nov. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the UC Cooperative Extension Classroom, 1245 W. Wardrobe Ave. in Merced.

The district recently changed its rules, resulting in a significant drop to the major threshold from 25 tons a year of NOX and VOC emissions to 10 tons a year. Agriculture facilities have been required to obtain air permits with emissions of half the major source threshold. The permit threshold for ag sources is now five tons a year. The change will require smaller farms to now obtain a permit with the air district.

Farmers should attend the workshop if they have irrigation or emergency engines larger than 50 horsepower that are now not permitted; total combined horsepower rating of irrigation pump engines of more than than 250 horsepower; dairies with more than 175 milk cows; more than 100 acres of contiguous cropland and have not applied for a conservation management practice plan; or an interest in learning about grant funding to replace irrigation pump engines.

Please RSVP to the Merced County Farm Bureau at (209) 723-3001. Space may be limited.-- Carol Reiter