The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is made up of eight counties in California’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the San Joaquin Valley air basin portion of Kern. The district is a public health agency whose mission is to improve the health and quality of life for all valley residents through efficient, effective and entrepreneurial air quality management strategies.

To achieve that, the district has regulatory authority over stationary sources. Using that authority, the district develops rules, implements reduction plans and establishes control measures for factories, refineries, dairies, gasoline dispensaries and other stationary pollution sources.

To date, the district has tremendously reduced air pollution within the valley from stationary sources. These air quality improvements are the result of more than two decades of implementing numerous air quality plans and strategies, including the adoption of more than 600 of the most stringent rules in the nation and implementation of a robust, yet voluntary, incentive program that has invested over $1 billion in clean-air projects. These efforts have resulted in more than 100,000 tons of emission reductions.

This would not be possible if it wasn’t for the commitment and investment from valley businesses, residents and members of the community.

Considering the San Joaquin Valley is the top agricultural-producing region in the nation, incentive programs are crucial in helping to eliminate pollution from the thousands of agricultural operations that occur in our region. The district offers many funding opportunities for agricultural equipment that valley farmers can take advantage of.

One example is the Ag Pump Replacement program, which provides incentives for engine replacement (repower) or new electric motor purchase of engines/motors used to power agricultural irrigation pumps. Funds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and applicants must obtain approval and have a signed, executed contract from the district prior to making their new equipment purchase.

There is also the Ag Tractor Replacement Program, which provides incentive funds for the replacement of in-use, off-road mobile equipment that are engaged in agricultural operations as defined by the California Air Resources Board. Eligible equipment include (but is not limited to): wheel loaders, balers, combines, graders or tractors. This program is also on a first-come, first-served basis. Another notable program is the Truck Voucher Program, which allows participants to apply through district-certified dealerships to replace old, high-polluting, heavy-duty diesel trucks. Applications are only available at district-certified dealerships and are accepted on a continual basis until funding is exhausted.

For more information on these grants and others, please visit valleyair.org/grants and click on “business.”

— Cassandra Melching is an outreach and communications representative with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

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