$2.4 Million Available to Arizona Farmers, Ranchers to Improve Air Quality
Tractor Engine Replacement Offered FY 2011!
PHOENIX, Feb. 18, 2011— Agriculture producers seeking to reduce PM10 (dust) and other forms of air pollution can apply for help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS has $2.4 million in Arizona, along with technical expertise, that is available to farmers and ranchers to improve air quality, through the Air Quality Enhancement Program, an Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) from the 2008 Farm Bill.
March 18th is the deadline to apply for the assistance. Approved applicants will receive up to 75 percent of the project paid; up to 90 percent if the applicant is from a historically underserved group. Seven counties are eligible in Arizona, which were identified as non-attainment areas by the Environmental Protection Agency. Applicants in Cochise, Gila, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties are eligible.
The help comes in five main areas:
Combustion Engine Installation or Replacement – NEW THIS YEAR!
For FY 2011, Arizona will allow for the installation of Combustion Engines as well as replacement of Combustion Engines to assist in reducing emissions by removing and destroying high–polluting internal combustion engines and replacing with new engines meeting the most current standards.
Dust - Road Treatment
Treating dirt roads with a soil stabilizer can reduce PM10 emissions by as much as 50%.
Conservation tillage operations such as no-till, strip-till, ridge-till and mulch-till are effective ways of reducing soil erosion.
The reduction of Track-out ( mud or soil from the tires of farm equipment and other vehicles that is tracked out onto paved public roads) can be achieved by the use of a grizzly, a device similar to a cattle guard, or by installing a gravel pad, a pad of crushed stone or coarse gravel that will be driven over before entering a paved public road.
Manure has valuable nutrients that crops can utilize for their development, and by using Waste Utilization the operation will reduce the emissions of ammonia, volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen.
Seven different NRCS offices in Arizona can help local agriculture producers with the air quality program. They include:
Avondale Field Office (623) 535-5055; Casa Grande Field Office (520) 836-1960; Chandler Field Office (480) 988-1078; Douglas Field Office (520) 364-2001; San Carlos Field Office (928-475-2692); Tucson Field Office (520) 292-2999; Willcox Field Office (520) 384-2229; and Yuma Field Office (928) 782-0860.