The Valley Air District Governing Board will expand a grant program to assist farmers in phasing out the open burning of woody waste thanks to $178.2 million in new state funding.
Instead of open burning, the expansion of the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning grant program will fund San Joaquin Valley farmers to transition to new cleaner practices, including the chipping of material for incorporation into the soil and other alternatives. Those now eligible for the funding include small agricultural operations of less than 100 total acres; an expansion of funding options for vineyard removals and chipped materials disposal and the ability to purchase new chipping equipment.
The funding comes in the wake of the District and the California Air Resources Board approving a strategy that will result in a near complete phase out of all agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley by January 1, 2025.
The District anticipates the new program will launch in September 2021; those interested in the funding can visit www.valleyair.org/grants or call program staff at 559-230-5800 for more details.
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