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AAQTF Findings, August 1998

ACTION ITEMS OF THE AUGUST 18, 1998 TELECONFERENCE OF THE AGRICULTURAL AIR QUALITY TASK FORCE

 

Manuel Cunha - I would so move to accept Jim’s research report.

Dennis Tristao - I would second that.

Chairman Pearlie Reed - Those in favor of the motion, please signify by saying aye. Those opposed. The ayes have it.

When we get this thing in here, Manuel, you raised the issue. We will do what we think needs to be done in working with the subcommittee and other members of the task force to do the appropriate briefings and follow up with people here at USDA.

 

 

Manuel Cunha - What you gave us was good information. Is that $2 million is not enough help to solve those problems for 2002-2006. Maybe we need to take yourself as well as some other key figures in the agency to have a meeting with the secretary and to let him know the necessity of having this research money. The task force and NRCS can help guide those things because NRCS is sort of the agency that is talked about in the voluntary compliance policy program. That needs to happen over the next several weeks to months. They are working on the 2000 budget. We have spent outside monies to get USDA to help through CREES $873,000 for four consecutive years. If it wasn’t for that, today California agriculture would have been a permit to farm operation which would have been a disaster.

Dr. Floyd Horn - We will be glad to do that. The secretary and/or the deputy secretary Mr. Rominger is very close to this. We have had many meetings in his office on this subject. He knows exactly where this issue stands. He is the reason we have been successful as we have been although we would agree that is not enough money. I would point out that you talked about CSREES and ARS. There is a major difference in the funding of those in that the CSREES appropriation through special grants which is often I think you had. You have to go back for it every year. The ARS appropriation is not. Once its in the base appropriation, the only reason it would come back out of that is if we solve the problem or a low priority. That is not likely in my lifetime.

 

 

Jim Trotter - That was one of our concerns on the research committee. How can we have a direct input? Is there some way some of us can have a direct input? Getting right to the nitty gritty is the thing. How can we have influence?

Dr. Floyd Horn - I meet regularly myself with the Animal Agriculture Coalition. That is one of many. Spring time is the most important time to compare notes because we have the appropriation hearings. A regular line of communication can be opened up with the national program staff. If you have access to the net, you can find exactly the person you want or you call Don Merrill who is the head of the staff. I can give you the number. We would be glad to that. This is not uniformly dispersed across the country. There are some concerns in California and Washington state. If you have a group that represents those subsets of the issue, it would be helpful to us to communicate with you.

 

Dr. Floyd Horn - We could revolutionize the CRIS system, which is above my ability. I can’t do that. It actually casts more or less in concrete how research is classified. We can try to accommodate the classification research system that we already use. This is a new one. We can create some kind of crosscutting matrix that properly classifies the priorities and the work that is underway. That is the most promising. That is our national program stamp. That’s our job and for the task force to see that that gets done. It means going through the CRIS system and pulling out the pieces that apply in each of these boxes. If we haven’t done that, we should and will.

 

 

Phil Wakelyn - I would like to move Manuel Cunha to accept the changes by the Task Force members and allow you to forward this to Secretary Glickman.

William Hambleton - I’ll second that motion.

Chairman Pearlie Reed - Ready for the question? Those in favor please signify by saying aye. Those opposed no. The ayes have it.

 

 

Chairman Pearlie Reed - Dr. Quinn, what I would suggest to the task force is that we collectively agree to receive your report. So that USDA and EPA can start immediately doing that we are going to have to do with it. Then put on our agenda for the next meeting of this task force and we hope to have one after the first of October. Those things will have to be agreed on by the task force. We can do it at that point in time.

 

 

Chairman Pearlie Reed - I would like to bring this topic to closure. I would like to suggest that we proceed as follows. I would like to ask you Dr. Quinn to take what you heard today and as appropriate, incorporate it into your subcommittee’s report. Get a copy to George Bluhm and he will make the appropriate distribution to all the task force members. I will take the responsibility on behalf of USDA to do what needs to be done here. I will refer to Sally on EPA. We can get back in touch with you and all of us can be prepared at our meeting in October to have another discussion on the issue.

 

 

Gary Margheim - We can send each member the appropriate forms.

 

George Bluhm - Got it Jim. I do need the group’s permission to schedule a meeting as soon as practical after we get the new charter in place. Irrespective of the meeting site.