Local and state air quality regulations and compliance standards for diesel engines effect stationary, portable, off-road (currently not including majority use agricultural equipment) and on-road equipment. Mendocino County Farm Bureau has successfully worked with regulatory agencies, our membership and California Farm Bureau Federation to lessen the impacts on agricultural operations. Emission standards and air quality issues will continue to evolve in California and Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for polices that do not overly burden agriculture and rural areas of the state with compliance mandates.
Emission Compliance Funding Resources
In March of 2018, at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) meeting, the Funding Agriculture Replacement Measure for Emission Reductions (FARMER) program was approved. The FARMER funding was used to provide $135,000,000 in funding statewide to provide incentives for the replacement of: agricultural harvesting equipment, heavy-duty trucks, agricultural pump engines, tractors and other equipment used in agricultural operations.
The majority of the FARMER funding was allocated to the San Joaquin Valley ($108,000,000) and to sixteen other specific air districts based on the each districts reported emission levels from farm equipment. Eighteen air quality districts, including the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District, were combined into the “districts with less than 1% of statewide emissions from farm equipment” category and were allocated $5,572,100. Funding is scheduled to be made available from 2019-2021.
Mendocino County Farm Bureau worked with Mendocino County Air Quality Management District staff and our membership to encourage participation in the FARMER program. The outreach was successful and Mendocino County submitted 26 eligible projects for consideration and 8 were approved for the first two rounds of funding for approximately $277, 414.
A third round of funding applications will be submitted in 2020 and those with diesel engines that need to be replaced for compliance reasons are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District for additional information.
Carl Moyer Grant Funds
The Carl Moyer Program is a voluntary grant program that reduces air pollution from vehicles and equipment by providing incentive funds to private companies and public agencies to purchase cleaner-than-required engines, equipment, and emission reduction technologies. The program has been implemented since 1998 through a partnership between the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California’s 35 local air pollution control and air quality management districts.
Projects that reduce emissions from heavy-duty on-road and off-road equipment qualify for Moyer grants. Eligible engines may include on-road trucks over 14,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, off-road equipment such as construction and farm equipment, marine vessels, locomotives, stationary agricultural equipment, forklifts, light-duty vehicles, airport ground support equipment, lawn and garden equipment, and emergency vehicles.
CARB Diesel Engine Regulations
On-Road Regulation: Agricultural Vehicle Extension
The Agricultural Vehicle extensions delays compliance for agricultural vehicles that operate less than specified mileage thresholds and for a limited number of specialized vehicles. The extension applies to diesel vehicles with a manufacturers gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 14,000 pounds that are exclusively use for agricultural operations. It includes agricultural vehicles such as trucks and buses owned by log harvest operations or farming businesses and certain trucks that are not farmer-owned but are dedicated to supporting agricultural operations. Pickups are not subject to the regulation. The opt-in for the Agricultural Vehicle extension has closed, however those fleets with vehicles under this extension are required to adhere to the annual mileage limitation of 10,000/year through January 1, 2023. Annual mileage reporting is due by the end of January. For more information on the Agricultural Vehicle Extension, please visit: www.arb.ca.gov
Truck Labels Available for the Agricultural (AG) and NOx Exempt (NE) On Road Extensions
Mendocino County Farm Bureau has AG and NE stickers that meet regulation standards (samples below) available at the MCFB office. Stickers are $1/each for MCFB members and $2/each for non- MCFB Members.
Off-Road Regulation: Vehicles Used in Agricultural Operations
The CARB Off-Road Regulation provides that all off road vehicles used exclusively for agricultural operations, including first processing after harvest, do not need to report, label, or control the emissions from those vehicles under the Off-Road Regulation. San Joaquin Valley is the ONLY area in California with a separate regulation on emissions related to off road mobile agricultural equipment at this time.
If a vehicle is used over half the time (a majority), but not exclusively, in agricultural operations it is exempt from the performance requirements, but still must comply with the reporting and labeling requirements of the off road regulation. If a vehicle is used less than half the time for agricultural operations, the vehicle must comply with all requirements of the Off-Road Regulation. However, when calculating the hours of usage for the vehicle (for example, to determine low-use status), the hours used in agricultural operations may be excluded from the total number of hours reported to ARB. For more information on the off road regulation in relation to agricultural operations, please visit: ww3.arb.ca.gov
Burn Permits and Smoke Management
Open outdoor burning is only allowed on permissive burn days with a valid burn permit within specified hours. Permit specifications vary depending on the time of the year and location of the property where the burn will occur.
A Smoke Management Plan (SMP) is required for any of these conditions:
- The burn(s) is a broadcast burn
- The burn(s) is expected to equal or exceed ten (10) acres.
- The fuel loading for the burn is equal or exceed fifty (50) tons.
- The burn has the possibility to impact sensitive receptors.
- The applicant was previously fined for open burning.
- The MCAQMD determined a SMP is needed.
Contact the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District to determine if a SMP will be needed.