July 2, 1997 Cover Letter from NRCS Chief Paul Johnson
|P.O. Box 2890
||Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
The Agricultural Air Quality Task
Force held their second meeting June 17-19, 1997, in Fresno, California.
All members or their representative, were present. The Task Force members
were pleased that Ms. Felicia Marcus, Region IX Administrator, was able to
join the Task Force for the session.
The Task Force concentrated on two
major activities at this session. Both were unanimously endorsed. First, a
listing of high priority research needs as related to agriculture and air
quality was developed. In that regard, the members are soliciting your
personal support to help advance a strong research agenda and the needed
funding with members of Congress. It would seem appropriate to consider
these recommendations as we work with Congress on the research title of
the Farm Bill that is presently being considered.
Secondly, the Task Force developed
a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of
Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The MOU
establishes a framework to share, in the spirit of cooperation, expertise
between EPA and USDA on air quality and agriculture issues and to provide
a process for involving the agricultural community and environmental
regulators in a cooperative effort to address related air quality issues.
I have asked my staff to work with EPA in finalizing the MOU for your
signature and that of Administrator Browner. I suggest you consider
signing the document in conjunction with the next Task Force meeting which
will be held in Washington, D.C., in October.
Attached for your information is a
letter from the Task Force concerning actions taken at the session along
with the draft MOU. At your convenience, we will arrange for a more
PAUL W. JOHNSON
James R. Lyons, Under Secretary for Natural Resources & Environment
Keith Collins, Chief Economist, SEC
Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and