The California rice industry has made a significant contribution to cleaner air by greatly reducing its open-field burning of rice straw.
These contributions result from the industry's participation in two major programs-the Rice Straw Burning Phase-down and the Sacramento Valley Smoke Management Programs. In addition, a recent piece of legislation (SB 700) has been passed and may require the permitting of certain agricultural operations. This law may have an impact on some rice farming operations, depending upon their location, equipment and size. The following section provides information and guidance on these issues.
Important new regulation for agricultural diesel engines:
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has posted an advisory on the sale and purchase of diesel engines used in agriculture. The advisory is especially directed at noncertified or "Tier 0" diesel engines manufactured prior to 1996. These engines are being phased out by a recent ARB ruling.
ARB has recently become aware that used Tier 0 diesel agricultural irrigation pump and gen set engines advertised on EBay, Craig's List, and similar websites do not meet the ARB's Stationary Diesel Engine Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) emission standards for the installation and use of agricultural engines. ARB has notified these websites about the ATCM and requested that they publish disclaimers with their ads. ARB and the local air districts are in the process of educating California growers about agricultural engine amendments to the ATCM, which became effective on October 18, 2007. We are concerned that growers could unknowingly purchase engines that they will not be able to install and use.