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Agricultural Engine Registration Program: Ag Diesel engines 50 horsepower and greater operating in San Luis Obispo County must be registered (or permitted) with the Air District before January 1, 2008. This requirement is found in District Rule 250, Registration of Agricultural Diesel Engines and is based on the State's Air Toxic Control Measure for Stationary Diesel Engines. Diesel drive engines for farm equipment and wind generators are exempt from registration.
Although the registration application and the associated $200 annual fee must be received by the District before January 1, 2008; growers are encouraged to apply now and not to wait until December. There is no financial penalty for early application because all first year registrations will be valid until from issuance until March 1, 2009. Additionally, registration does not add any new restrictions to the engine; they will only clarify what future state requirements apply to the specific engine. Forms and instructions for the Ag Engine Registration Program can be down loaded from Agricultural Engine Registration Forms section here. If you have any questions or need to be mailed or faxed a copy, please contact Gary Willey (805) 781-5912.
State's Stationary Diesel Agricultural Engine Regulation: On November 16, 2006 the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted regulations to reduce emissions from diesel agricultural engines that are greater than 50 horsepower (hp). Diesel drive engines for farm equipment and wind generators are exempt from the regulation. Backup generators are also exempt from the emission control requirements of this regulation, but they are subject to registration. Please note that most trailer mounted engines are considered stationary.
While there is currently an exemption from the emission control requirements for remotely located engines in San Luis Obispo County (those with less than three non-employee residences within a ½ mile), that exemption has a real possibility of going away within the next few years because it is dependent on our Federal ozone standard designation. Currently the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the ozone standard and depending on their final decision, SLO County may be designated out of attainment. Should this occur, the formerly exempt remote engines would have 18 months to comply with the emission limits.
For those engines that are not remote or for those that lose their exemption, the requirement is to either electrify or repower with an engine or engine / filter combination that meets specific engine standards. For example a grower may repower an old dirty diesel pump engine with a clean engine that meets Federal/CARB Tier 3 engine standards and install a diesel particulate filter (Federal/CARB Tier 4 equivalent). The implementation schedule that initiates change-out requirements is dependent on the horsepower and the Tier of the original engine. It is important that growers consider re-powering before the requirements take affect because once a requirement is less than one year out or if we run out of funding, no financial aid will be available to help with engine repowers. Please see financial aid below.
State's Air Toxics Hotspot Regulation: In addition to the requirements identified above, ARB took additional steps to reduce toxic air contaminates from diesel engines that operate within 1/4 mile from one or more non-employee residences. These engines will require health risk screening in the future. Depending on the results of the health risk analysis, those engines could be subject to more stringent electrification or Tier 4 engine requirements. Additionally, engines that exceed the health risk threshold do not qualify for a remote exemption under the Stationary Diesel Regulation described above.
Financial Aid for Ag Engines: In March of 2007, the APCD released a Request for Proposals to fund stationary agricultural engine emission reduction projects. Over $575,000 of Carl Moyer Program funds and local DMV registration fees were secured to clean up stationary agricultural engines and assist with early compliance of ARB's regulation. Program funds can be used to fund up to 65% of the total cost, with a $100,000 cap, to electrify or repower old diesel engines. Growers can obtain application materials from (quick link slocleanair.org/images/cms/upload/files/programs/ag-engine.php) or by contacting APCD at 781-5912. Funding is limited and on a first come first served basis. Although, the APCD anticipates making additional funds available in 2008, long term funding has not been secured.
The agricultural community has long been recognized as advocating clean air. A combination of events will now cause air pollution control to affect agricultural operations. Seven programs will be introduced and discussed here. Some involve a permit to operate. Others involve state or federal regulations that the APCD is obligated to implement and enforce, regardless of whether a permit is involved. In general, if a farmer is subject to more than one program, a single APCD permit to operate should satisfy all requirements.
What is the reason for these programs? Statewide, diesel engine particulate accounts for 70% of the public's exposure to airborne cancer causing compounds. New regulations at the local, state, and federal level are being adopted or implemented almost monthly that call for reduction or control of diesel particulate matter.
What does it mean to have an APCD permit? The primary reason for a permit is to state any requirements that may apply. Compliance is assured through an honor system, with periodic APCD inspections acting as a backup.
If air emissions are the point of concern, how can I reduce mine? One way is to replace diesel engine driven irrigation pumps with either electric motors or with clean-burn engines. The APCD's Carl Moyer Program may have funds available to help pay for replacement engines.
Here is a summary of programs that have currently been identified that affect agricultural operations. A link to additional programs is also provided below. The California Air Resources Board maintains a web page on these topics as well.
Under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California has deleted its long-standing permit exemption for agricultural sources of air pollution. Large operations, for example those using engines to irrigate 5,500 or more acres, must have applied for a federal Title V permit by December 31, 2004. In addition, slightly smaller operations were required to apply to the APCD for a permit in late-2005, for example those consuming more than 240,000 gallons of diesel per year in their irrigation engines that are rated at greater than 50 horsepower (>50hp). Emissions from portable engines are not included in Title V permit applicability, but are included in the APCD permit applicability. The emissions of concern in this program are the precursors to ozone, such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Review information on this topic here. For even more information on this topic the District has created a series web pages to allow an agriculture operation to evaluate for Title V applicability.
Beyond SB700's requirements for the permitting of large operations involving the growing of crops or raising of animals, farmers need to be aware that engines rated at >50hp that are not involved in the growing of crops or raising of animals may also require an APCD permit. For example, the standby diesel generator used to maintain power for an administrative building or a packaging operation would not be exempt from permit, regardless of the overall size of the agricultural operation. However, in recognition of the confusion that has surrounded the old agricultural permit exemption, the APCD does not intend to enforce this permit requirement until late-2005. Also, SB700 prohibits the APCD from requiring a permit for smaller operations involved in the growing of crops or raising of animals, but it doesn't prevent the APCD from issuing a permit if an owner requests one. In response to the portable engine ATCM's requirement that >50hp portable diesel engines either be registered or permitted, a farmer may prefer a local permit over a state registration. In the long run, an APCD permit could cost more than a state registration. The pollutant of concern in this program is diesel particulate matter. more»
Large, new agricultural operations, with the potential to emit greater than 50 tons per year of oxides of nitrogen must obtain a permit before they install >50hp engines. For example, a new 6,000 acre vineyard installing Tier 2 diesel irrigation engines might trigger this requirement. Both stationary and portable engines must be included in the applicability determination, but the portable engines registered under the program described in item 2 above would be excluded from the permit itself. The pollutants of concern here include the precursors to ozone and toxic compounds, such as diesel particulate matter. more»
SB700 requires that a definition of what constitutes a large confined animal facility (CAF) be established. The APCD is then obligated to either adopt a regulation to control the emissions from large CAFs or make a finding that those emissions do not degrade local air quality. Fugitive particulate matter and precursors to ozone are the pollutants of concern in this program. more»
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