The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering California growers and ranchers opportunities to apply new and innovative agricultural emission reduction practices and technologies that provide significant environmental benefits to our natural resources.
The Combustion System Improvement (372) practice improves air quality by reducing oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) emissions from reciprocating internal combustion engines and related components. This practice provides a payment to reduce emissions by permanently removing in-use irrigation engines and replace with new electric motors or with new emissions-certified diesel irrigation engines that meet or exceed Federal, state, or local emission standards and guidelines. Real emission reductions are achieved when high-polluting irrigation engines are replaced earlier than through normal turnover. Priority is placed on existing well sites located within nationally designated air quality non-attainment areas in California.
California growers and ranchers must meet eligibility requirements to qualify.
It is recommended that the participant consult with the local air quality authority to determine the permitting requirements and emissions standards imposed on internal combustion engines before submitting an application. The participant is responsible for assuring all regulatory obligations are in place prior to receiving a payment.
The in-use irrigation engine is:
Currently in-use, fully functional, in good operating condition, situated at its operating location, connected to the equipment it powers, and has useful life remaining. Irrigation engines may be stationary by being bolted to a foundation or a platform permanently attached to a foundation; or portable by being mounted on trailers or skids that move from one location to another.
A Tier 2 emissions-certified or older compression-ignition (diesel) irrigation engine or a spark-ignition (gaseous fuels) irrigation engine rated at least 50 break-horsepower (bhp). Not eligible are auxiliary engines mounted on farm equipment; emergency stand-by engines; or mobile engines that self-propel agricultural vehicles.
Owned and used routinely and exclusively in California by the participant for at least the past 12 consecutive months.
The new electric motor is:
Replacing an in-use compression-ignition or spark-ignition irrigation engine.
Rated at least 25 horsepower (hp) or 19 kilowatts (kw) and sized appropriately to conform to NRCS Practice Standard Code 533 – Pumping Plant. Priority is placed on installing new electric motors instead of new diesel engines, which essentially eliminates the air pollutants from the source.
New and covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
The new replacement engine is:
A diesel-powered engine replacing an in-use Tier 1 or Tier 2 emissions certified diesel-powered irrigation engine. Spark-ignition engines may not be replaced with new diesel engines.
Rated at least 50 bhp and within 125% of the existing engine horsepower rating. The new engine must be sized appropriately to conform to NRCS Practice Standard 533–Pumping Plant.
New and covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Verified as meeting the most current model-year California emission standards available. Certification is by California Air Resources Board Executive Order based on the applicable EPA engine family and off-road engine model description.
The participant must not purchase, make payments toward, or take possession of any new engine or electric motor prior to receiving a fully executed contract.
The participant under contract must provide the NRCS field office with the applicable Engine Family Name and engine model descriptions prior to purchasing the new diesel engine for emissions verification. Any new engine reporting a Family Emission Limit shall not exceed the applicable emission standards for any air pollutant.
The participant installing a new electric motor must provide documentation from the local utility company for power installation or information that an adequate electric power supply is at the site.
To assure the emission reductions are quantifiable and real, the existing engine must be destroyed and scrapped at a California metal recycling facility. Recycling engine parts is not allowed. The participant must provide the NRCS field office with the appropriate documents and photographs of engine destruction. Please consult with your NRCS field office representative on where engines may be properly disposed and scrapped. A list of Destruction Facilities is available and includes known destruction and scrapping facilities.
A minimum two-year contract period is required. The participant initiates the project within one year. Once installed, the practice life is 10 years.
The payment rates are based on the rated horsepower of the new electric motor or diesel engine.
For More Information
For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, please contact your local USDA Service Center, listed in the government section of the phone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture. Information is also available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ca/home/.