CCGGA Never Stops Working

After two days at the State Capitol with Board Members discussing critical issues affecting the cotton industry, the Association hurried back to Fresno yesterday to attend a special Air Resources Board (ARB) Meeting on the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the San Joaquin Valley.  The evening meeting which began at 5:00 pm included a presentation by the ARB and discussions on the need for a mandatory farm equipment replacement rule and increased requirements for Conservation Management Practices (CMPs).  Then it was opened to public comment, where industry was outnumbered 10 to 1 and the attack on agriculture began.  Several environmental groups berated the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and ARB for not mandating the replacement of farm equipment and requiring more CMPs.  After 3 hours of this testimony, Association President/CEO Roger Isom addressed the crowd by stressing the steps that farmers have taken to clean up the air in advance of these regulations.  Isom talked about the reductions achieved through the CMP rule and practices developed hand in hand with the industry, and the tremendous reductions achieved through the incentive programs such as Carl Moyer and the EQIP program through NRCS.  Isom also discussed the conversion of ag pumps from diesel to electric through the Ag-ICE program and the current work on Ag-ICE 2.0.   The Nisei Farmers League also testified in opposition to the proposed control measures and the push by the environmental community to increase regulations on agriculture.