While the end has been preordained for some time due to the passage of SB 705 (Florez), the final death sentence was handed down by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) this past week. The decision was in response to the proposed phase-out plan adopted by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District last November. CARB initially said it wasn’t enough and issued a staff report that sped up end dates for certain burning and set an absolute end date on January 1, 2025. It should be noted that even this wasn’t enough for the environmental justice community or some of the CARB Board members, as many called for end to all agricultural burning right now. Association Director of Technical Services Christopher McGlothlin testified on the proposal citing the need for time for newer technologies to come on line that would replace the old biomass facilities. McGlothlin highlighted several companies and technologies that the Association has been working with over the past five years, but have not quite reached the finish line. Association President/CEO Roger Isom also testified and argued that many of the state’s own policies have contributed to the problem with the requirement for biomass plants to burn 80% forestry waste and the waste diversion requirement for landfills that has resulted in landfills not accepting ag waste any longer. Isom also stated we need significant funding to help growers, especially smaller ones, pay for chipping and incorporating the material back into the soil and for the new technologies to get up and running. Thankfully, the CARB did not end burning this year, giving a slight reprieve until 2025 and some board members pledged to help get the funding necessary to solve the problem.