The Valley Air District took action earlier this month to accept over $18.5 million in additional U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) funding to replace old nut harvesters and wood burning devices.
“Grant funds such as these recognize the partnerships with Valley residents and farmers to expedite emission reductions in the San Joaquin Valley through the deployment of the latest and cleanest technologies,” stated Samir Sheikh, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “With these funds and matching investments by local partners, the EPA is acknowledging the unique challenges of the Valley and providing much needed and appreciated financial assistance.”
The Valley Air District submitted three proposals to the EPA for the highly competitive 2022 Targeted Air Shed Grant Program and was informed that two of the three proposals were selected for funding. The low-dust nut harvester proposal was selected for funding in the amount of $10,000,000, and the wood burning device change out proposal was selected for funding in the amount of $8,590,223.
To date, the District’s low-dust nut harvester replacement program has provided over $15 million to replace over 186 older, Valley-based nut harvesters with new, significantly cleaner low-dust nut harvesters. The $10,000,000 from this grant will help fund the replacement of approximately 120 additional older, nut harvesters, with match funding provided by the grant recipients.
To date, the District’s Fireplace & Woodstove Change-Out Program has successfully provided over $57.6 million to replace 29,000 dirty wood burning devices in homes throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The $8,590,223 from this grant will help fund the replacement of approximately 2,089 wood burning devices with much cleaner electric or gas devices, with significant match funding provided by the grant recipients.
Significant resources are needed to implement a successful incentive-based strategy and procure the necessary reductions in emissions. The Valley Air District has developed and implemented a robust and effective voluntary incentive program to identify the needs of the Valley and meet those needs with funding that helps generate significant emission reductions that would not otherwise occur.
A complete listing of available grant programs and requirements can be found at www.valleyair.org/grants or by calling program staff at 559-230-5800.
The Valley Air District covers eight counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern. For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.