Here’s what you need to know:
- At the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District governing board meeting on September 15, 2022, the board approved increased financial incentives ranging from $750 to $3,500 in the Burn Cleaner program. The incentives are for residents to replace existing wood burning devices with cleaner alternatives.
- The board received an update on the Ag Burn Alternatives program and it was reported that since the re-launch of the program in September 2021, demand has nearly tripled the monthly average from prior years, with an average of $5.4 million in executed contracts per month for alternative practices.
- Also, the governing board approved contracts with Desert Research Institute for and Enthalpy Analytical to provide laboratory speciation analysis of Particulate Matter 2.5 samples and laboratory analysis of toxic organic compounds, respectively.
- During public comments, Janet Dietzkamei said she hopes that solar will be part of the Burn Cleaner program; Connie Young urged the board to include the word “climate change” as part of the public education about wildfires; and Jasmine Martinez from Central Valley Air Quality Coalition noted that wildfires are “no longer exceptional climate events.”
- How will the new incentives urge residents to shift away from wood burning?
- What additional policies can the district implement to help AB 617 communities?
- When will the Burn Cleaner program include incentives for solar-powered households?
According to its website, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) comprises 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 Valley Air District Board includes a fifteen-member governing board of representatives from the Board of Supervisors of all eight counties, one health and science member appointed by the Governor, one physician appointed by the Governor, and five Valley city representatives.
The District held a meeting on Thursday, September. 15, 2022, at 9 am. Vice-Chair Chiesa and Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger were in the SJVAPCD building at 1990 E Gettysburg Ave, Fresno, CA 93726. Other members were available online.
- Chair and former Vice Mayor at City of Porterville Monte Reyes
- Vice-Chair and Supervisor at Stanislaus County Vito Chiesa
- Supervisor at Kings County Craig Pedersen
- Vice-Chair and Supervisor at Merced County Lloyd Pareira
- City of Clovis Mayor Drew M. Bessinger
- Supervisor at Fresno County Buddy Mendes
- Tania Pacheco-Werner, Ph.D. appointed by Governor
- Mayor Pro Tem at City of Avenal Alvaro Preciado
- Supervisor at Tulare County Amy Shuklian
- Supervisor at Madera County Tom Wheeler
- Executive Director And Air Pollution Control Officer Samir Sheikh
Officials not present:
- Supervisor at Kern County David Couch
- Councilmember at City of Stockton Christina Fugazi
- Councilmember at City Of Los Banos Deborah Lewis
- Robert Rickman Supervisor, San Joaquin County
- Alexander C. Sherriffs, M.D., appointed by Governor
- Councilmember at City Of Los Banos Deborah Lewis
- Janet Dietzkamei
- Connie Young
- Thomas Metz
- Citizens Advisory Committee Chair and President of the Nisei Farmers League Manuel Cunha
- Director of Air Quality Science Jonathan Klassen
- Chief Communications Officer Jaime Holt
- Director of Strategies and Incentives Todd DeYoung
- Policy Assistant at Central Valley Air Quality Coalition Cynthia Pinto Cabrera
- Jasmine Martinez from Central Valley Air Quality Coalition
Janet Dietzkamei urged the board to take action to address climate change.
Citizens Advisory Committee Chair and President of the Nisei Farmers League Manuel Cunha criticized NPR reports on agricultural burning.
The board (10-0) approved the consent agenda Item A to H as follows:
#6. Report on District Citizens Advisory Committee Activities:
- Sheraz Gill, deputy APCO, provided an update on implementing the Valley’s final agricultural burn phase-out strategy, which will phase out remaining burning by the end of 2024.
- Todd DeYoung, Director of Grants and Incentives, reported that the District Governing Board recently accepted $12.9 million in revenue from the California Air Resources Board to replace heavy-duty trucks with zero and near-zero-emission trucks in the San Joaquin Valley.
- The 2021 state budget included a $45 million allocation designated for replacing heavy-duty trucks with zero and near-zero emission technology in severe or extreme nonattainment areas within the state.
- Morgan Lambert, Deputy APCO, provided an update on the District’s efforts to amend District Rule 2201 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review) and Rule 2301 (Emission Reduction Credit Banking) to satisfy federal offset equivalency remedies contained within Rule 2201.
- The District is planning public workshops to be held throughout 2022, and rule adoption is scheduled for late 2022 or early 2023.
- Jessica Olson, Director of Community Strategies and Resources, updated the District’s ongoing activities related to AB 617 implementation.
- The District has continued to meet regularly with all four Community Steering Committees (CSCs), South Central Fresno, Shafter, Stockton, and Arvin/Lamont, to design and implement the community-driven AB 617 process.
- The recently adopted Arvin/Lamont CERP will head to CARB’s board on October 13.
- CARB held an outreach workshop last month during the Arvin/Lamont CSC meeting to solicit feedback on the CERP development process in preparation for their update to the Board.
#7 The board (10-0) approved enhancements to the District’s Burn Cleaner Program to provide increased incentives for the installation of natural gas or electric devices (presented by Program Manager Brian Dodds in the Grants and Incentives Department)
District’s Burn Cleaner Program plays a key role in replacing wood-burning devices with cleaner units.
Since 2009, the program has released 27,000 vouchers totaling nearly $49 million. The program helps residents overcome financial obstacles in purchasing cleaner technology while achieving cost-effective emission reductions.
Incentives up to $4,000 are available to replace existing wood/pellet burning devices with electric heat pumps or natural gas and EPA-certified heating devices (only in areas without access to natural gas).
As a complementary component to stringent “No Burn” regulation, District commits to achieve 0.33 tons per day of emission reductions through the Burn Cleaner Program by December 31, 2023
Last year your Board approved the Burn Cleaner Fireplace and Woodstove Change-out Incentive Measure for inclusion in the SIP.
To date, District has demonstrated a total of 0.27 tons per day of emission reductions associated with the Burn Cleaner Program.
Currently awaiting EPA approval of the District’s SIP submittal, the District is proceeding with the expectation that EPA will ultimately approve the request.
Valley residents utilize an online portal to apply for Burn Cleaner funding before purchasing and installing a new device.
Residents with access to natural gas can receive up to $3,000 for installing a natural gas insert or stove and up to $4,000 for an electric heat pump.
Residents without access to piped natural gas can receive up to $1,000 for install of a natural gas insert or stove and up to $1,500 for an electric heat pump.
Partnering hearth retailers throughout the Valley play a key role in providing participants with the purchase and installation of devices.
After implementing the Hot Spot Strategy in 2019, the District experienced significant growth in program participation.
However, projecting a 41 percent decline in program participation in 2022 compared to 2021.
Eligible gas device costs have increased by 16%, and wood/pellet devices have increased by 48 percent in the last three years.
An increase in device and labor costs result in higher out-of-pocket expenses, which impact program participation.
Community Emission Reduction Programs for Shafter, South Central Fresno, and Stockton include dedicated funding for Burn Cleaner incentive funds.
Community members have provided feedback that the available incentive levels are insufficient to encourage participation.
Recently each Community Steering Committee has voted to increase incentives available to AB 617 community residents.
The proposed incentives for to Burn Cleaner program include:
- Residents in hotspot and non-hotspot counties who have or installed natural gas devices will receive $1000.
- Residents with electric heat pumps in hotspot and non-hotspot counties will receive $100 and $2000 to $3500, respectively.
- Residents who wish to remove their wood-burning fireplace can receive $750.
Dodds clarified that the areas of the hotspot and non-spot counties are available on the program website.
Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner asked Dodds whether the Grants and Incentives Department is considering a new tier for solar-powered homes.
Janet Dietzkamei said she hopes that solar will be part of the program, while Thomas Metz urged the board to raise awareness of the program.
Policy Assistant at Central Valley Air Quality Coalition Cynthia Pinto Cabrera sought the board to focus AB 617 funds on electric rather than natural gas devices.
#8 Verbal report on wildfire season and District’s recently launched Clean Air Rooms Grant Program (presented by Director of Air Quality Science Jonathan Klassen and Chief Communications Officer Jaime Holt)
9 of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred during the 2020/2021 wildfire seasons, with five fires from 2020 and four from 2021
An extreme heat wave across California in early September exacerbated fire danger conditions such as:
- Continuous drying of fuels across the region
- Prolonged high pressure over the Valley increased concentrations of residual wildfire smoke and pollution from other activities.
- Wildfire emissions contributed to peak ozone values.
Exceedingly poor dispersion and wildfire impacts in early September led to elevated PM2.5 across the Valley.
During the period, daily average concentrations exceed the federal annual standard, below the 24-hour standard.
Past wildfire seasons have experienced peak PM2.5 values well above federal standards.
Hourly PM2.5 concentrations reflect short-term impacts from wildfire smoke • Values exceeding 100 µg/m3 in multiple Valley locations.
The district works with land management agencies daily to provide technical support and enhance wildfire response coordination efforts and public outreach.
Residents have found mobile applications useful as they provide real-time air quality information in an easily consumable way.
The Valley Air application has recently been downloaded over 56,000 times and equipped with new air quality tools.
The district recently launched a new Clean Air Centers Pilot program.
The program provides the District with $750,000 in funding for portable air cleaners in a new network of clean air centers offering vulnerable populations a respite from wildfires and other smoke events.
The county allocates funding based on the population. The program is currently open through September 17th and streamlined to ensure maximum flexibility.
The Clean Air Room Pilot Program is available to Valley residents living in disadvantaged communities, as defined by State’s CalEnviroScreen Too.
The program is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Eligible applicants receive one CARB-certified, HEPA-rated, whole room air purifier and one filter replacement, shipped directly to the applicants’ homes.
Dr. Pacheco asked whether there is substantial traffic in the ValleyAir app. Executive Director Samir Shiekh stated that the District would make anyone can access the information.
Connie Young and Janet DietzKamei urged the Board to include the word “climate change” as part of the public education about wildfires.
Jasmine Martinez from Central Valley Air Quality Coalition seeks the District’s action to regulate main sources of pollutants that worsen air quality, such as oil wells, which carry methane.
She noted that wildfires are “no longer exceptional climate events.”
#9 Received an update on implementing the Agricultural Open Burn Phase-Out Strategy.
Recognizing the need to develop new alternatives, in 2018, the board authorized a new Ag Burn Alternatives Grant Program.
The program provides financial incentives to chip ag material for soil reincorporation, land application, and off-site beneficial reuse.
Since 2018, the board has allocated $25 million in local district funding to the program.
In August 2021, through strong local advocacy, the board accepted $178,200,000 in additional state funding to expand fleet capacity and support the use of new alternative practices.
The program operated through a streamlined online process and timely voucher issuance.
The district relaunched the Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Incentive Program District relaunched the program on September 1, 2021.
The program will assist in developing alternative practices, increasing the fleet capacity of chipping equipment, and offsetting the high cost of implementing alternatives to open burning.
Since the re-launch of the enhanced program in September 2021, the district has seen an increase in program demand, nearly tripling the monthly average from prior years, with an average of $5.4 million in executed contracts per month for alternative practices.
Since January 2021, the board directed that 30% of available funding be initially set aside for smaller agricultural operations, less than 500 acres in size.
In August 2021, the board allocated an additional $100/acre for each funding category for agricultural operations less than 100 acres in size.
To ensure adequate capacity to accommodate the increase in chipping, the board allocated $30,000,000 of new state funding for new chipping/grinding equipment purchases.
Since the launch of this option in September 2021, significant interest from chipping contractors in purchasing additional equipment, with 55 pieces of equipment, has been funded to date.
Policy Assistant at Central Valley Air Quality Coalition Cynthia Pinto Cabrera stated that the reductions in agricultural burning should have happened in the earlier years.
She pointed out the project as an example of how the district has prioritized private industry and operations over disadvantaged communities.
#10 The board (10-0) authorized the district to serve as Administrator of CARB Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation Remediation Fund for the Port Of Stockton (presented by Project Coordinator Todd DeYoung)
In 2007, CARB adopted Control Measure for Ocean Going Vessels At-Berth, which requires certain vessels under certain conditions to connect to emission control systems while at-berth.
The measure provides air quality and health benefits to people living and working near seaports.
In 2020, CARB adopted enhanced regulation with expanded requirements.
Any port or marine terminal in California receiving more than 20 visits per year of the regulated vessel must comply with the 2020 regulation.
Containers, refrigerated cargo, cruise, roll-on roll-off (ro-ro), and tanker vessels are required to reduce emissions while at berth.
Bulk and general cargo vessels must still meet reporting requirements.
Compliance starts in January 2023 and is dependent on vessel types. The deadline is January 2027. Based on revised thresholds, the Port of Stockton is now subject to the regulation.
Types of regulated vessels that call on Port of Stockton are currently limited to tanker vessels.
As of compliance dates, regulated vessels must be able to connect to CARB-approved emission control systems when at berth.
Approved systems include shore power, emission capture and control systems (bonnets), fuel cells, and batteries. Port of Stockton researching available emission control options
The Remediation Fund is an additional compliance option under the 2020 At-Berth Regulation for port/terminal/vessel operators that have made enforceable commitments to control emissions from vessels at berth.
Conditions for Remediation Fund Eligibility are as follows:
- Terminal/port equipment repairs – installed shore-side emission control systems at port or terminal are under repair
- Vessel or equipment repairs – vessel operator has invested in emission control technology but needs repairs, maintenance, commissioning, or has failed.
- Delays in connecting to a control strategy – the vessel has taken all actions to use the existing emission control strategy. Still, it fails to achieve full emission reductions required by regulation due to equipment failure, delay, or interruption.
- Terminal/port construction activities – emission control system is installed and operational but taken offline to allow for a planned upgrade or construction project.
- Other unavoidable physical or operational constraints that prevent compliance, as approved by CARB
Upon CARB approval, the port/terminal/vessel operator may utilize the Remediation Fund for each hour of uncontrolled emissions during a vessel visit.
Payments made according to schedule in regulation, ranging from $1,000 per hour to $12,500 per hour, vary by vessel type.
Anticipated that types of tanker vessels that call on Port of Stockton would be subject to the lower end of schedule from $1,000 to $3,400 per hour
Vessels that call on Port of Stockton are not subject to the regulation until 2027. CARB estimates that the remediation fund program will likely generate approximately $11,000 annually.
The range is based on assumptions for implementing CARB-approved emission control strategy and any potential delays.
Once CARB approves the final amount, payment is made by the responsible party to the Remediation Fund Administrator.
Remediation Fund Administrator will use the funding to fund emission reduction projects in the area of the port/terminal to mitigate the community impact of excess emissions generated during vessel visits.
Funds generated through Remediation Fund must be used in existing incentive programs such as:
- Carl Moyer Program
- Proposition 1B Program
- AB 617 Community Air Protection Program
- Emissions reduction strategy identified in a CARB-approved AB 617 CERP
Emission reductions generated with the Remediation Fund must be surplus to any other rule, regulation, statute, or legal requirements.
The district will work with the Port of Stockton to forecast the range of potential funding generated by the Remediation Fund and the Stockton AB 617 community to identify potential incentive projects to mitigate excess emissions from the Port of Stockton.
#11 Proposed Amendments To Rule 4460 (Petroleum Refinery Fence-Line Refinery Community Air Monitoring Fees) and Adopt Rule 4460 Petroleum Refinery Fence-Line Air Monitoring Plan Guidelines.
The board will continue the item to the October 20 governing board meeting.
#12 Review and Set Agenda for the November 2022 Governing Board Study Session For Educational and Strategic Planning Purposes.
The 2022 Governing Board Study Session will be held at Wonder Valley Ranch in Sanger, CA, beginning at 11 a.m. on November 9 and concluding before 5 p.m. on November 10.
The proposed agenda items are:
- Public Opinion Survey to Inform Air Quality Outreach and Management Strategies
- Update on Wildfire Prevention and Response Strategy
- Discuss Air Quality Research Priorities and Potential Air Quality Symposium
- Potential Opportunities for Addressing Extreme Drought Impacts
- District S.T.A.R. (Service, Teamwork, Attitude, and Respect) Work Culture
- Update on Climate Assessments and Initiatives and Discuss Potential Co-Beneficial Opportunities
- District’s Healthy Air Living Schools Program
- Community Air Protection Program Implementation
- Community Engagement Efforts
- Update on District Information Technology Initiatives
- Updates from California Air Resources Board and Federal Environmental Protection Agency
- Update from SJVAPCD Employees’ Association
#13 Verbal update on district efforts to enhance new Source Review and Emission Reduction Credit Banking Rules – under the federal offset equivalency remedies contained in Rule 2201 (new and modified Stationary Source Review),
The District is currently amending Rule 2201 And Rule 2301 (Emission Reduction Credit Banking) to ensure continued compliance with the federal new source review requirements.
EPA’s action identified additional areas during the Rule 2201 amendment process, such as:
- Inclusion of certain federal NSR definitions
- Inclusion of federal visibility requirements
- Analysis of minor source NOx and VOC public notice thresholds
- Removal of interpollutant offset trading for ozone precursors
- Revision to definitions of Routine Replacement Emissions Unit and Temporary Replacement Emissions Unit
- Other minor administrative issues
Proposed amendments to District Rule 2301 will include:
- Administrative mechanisms, definitions, and procedures for filing applications and banking ERCs, including the requirement for a timely application submittal (clarify the interpretation of rule language flagged by CARB).
- Administrative mechanisms, definitions, and procedures for banking other creditable emission reductions (future orphan shutdowns, mobile source credits, etc.)
- Removal of banking for new greenhouse gas emission reduction credits
#14. Verbal report on California Air Resources Board (CARB) activities:
Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Advanced Clean Cars II Regulations was the second of two hearings regarding proposed amendments to CARB’s Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) Regulations. CARB’s Board took action to adopt the proposed regulation amendments.
The item included a recap of ACC II key components, a summary of amendments in 15-day changes, and staff recommendations and next steps.
The amendments included changes to existing regulations and adopting new regulations as part of CARB’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Regulation, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regulation, and associated Test Procedures.
The amendments increase the stringency of the LEV program, which includes requirements for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). They require automobile manufacturers to deliver increasing percentages of ZEVs as a portion of their overall product deliveries between 2026 and 2035.
The Proposed Regulations to increase the sale of ZEVs would culminate in 100 percent sales of ZEVs and the cleanest-possible plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEV) by the 2035 model year. The amendments to the LEV regulation are intended to ensure emissions are reduced under real-world operating conditions and prevent the backsliding of emissions from ICEVs as the fleet transitions to ZEVs.
Additionally, the ACC II amendments include provisions to increase ZEV reliability, support the ZEV market, and protect the emission benefits of the ZEV regulation by establishing new minimum technical requirements and ZEV assurance measures.
Based on CARB staff’s analysis, including accounting for reduced fuel production, the amended Regulations are expected to avoid 70,514 tons of NOx and 4,553 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from 2026 to 2040.
Based on these emission reduction estimates, the amendments will lead to approximately 1,287 fewer cardiopulmonary deaths, 211 fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular illness, 252 fewer hospital admissions for respiratory illness, and 647 fewer emergency room visits for asthma.
CARB approved the South Los Angeles Community Emissions Reduction Program as required by Assembly Bill 617.
It was developed through a partnership between the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the community steering committee.
CARB is expected to consider amendments to the medium and heavy-duty zero-emission fleet regulation to achieve a zero-emission truck and bus California fleet by 2045 everywhere feasible and significantly earlier for certain market segments such as last-mile delivery and drayage applications.
CARB will hear a CARB staff proposal to adopt amendments to the current chrome plating ATCM.
The proposal is to align the ATCM with federal requirements, the modified National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Hard and Decorative Chrome Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks, by revising surface tension limits and phasing out the use of certain fume suppressants.
CARB is developing an In-Use Locomotive Regulation to accelerate the adoption of advanced, cleaner technologies, including zero-emission technologies, for locomotive operations.
The regulation would be implemented statewide and include a pathway to accelerate the adoption of advanced cleaner technologies for locomotive operations.
The Closed Session Consist Of:
- Conference With Legal Counsel – Pending Litigation under Government Code Section 54956.9(D), Sjvapcd V. Ag Land Joint Venture, Fresno County Superior Court Case No. 21cecg02452.
The meeting ended at noon. The next meeting will be through Zoom on Thursday, October 20, 2022.