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July 2, 1997 Cover Letter from NRCS Chief Paul Johnson
United States
Department of
Agriculture
Natural
Resources
Conservation
Service
P.O. Box 2890
Washington, DC
20013-2890
July 2, 1997


SUBJECT: Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
TO: Dan Glickman
Secretary


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 detailed briefing.

PAUL W. JOHNSON

Chief

Attachments

cc:
James R. Lyons, Under Secretary for Natural Resources & Environment
Keith Collins, Chief Economist, SEC
Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, SEC