Public Workshop to Discuss the Progress of
the Phase Down of Rice Straw Burning


Dear Sir/Madam:

The California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) invites you to a public workshop to discuss the fourth progress report on the phase down of rice straw burning in the Sacramento Valley.

DATE: Tuesday, June 5, 2001
TIME: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Colusa County Air Pollution Control District
100 Sunrise Boulevard
Colusa, California

The Connelly-Areias-Chandler Rice Straw Burning Reduction Act of 1991 (Act) requires that burning rice straw in the Sacramento Valley be phased down, and starting September 2001, allowed only for disease control.

The Act requires the ARB and the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to jointly report to the California Legislature every two years on the progress of the phase down. The ARB is also required to submit a report presenting findings regarding the air quality, public health, and economic impacts associated with the burning of rice straw during the years 1998 to 2000, when the phase-down schedule was paused at 200,000 acres. The "pause" report is incorporated into the biennial report.

The topics required by the Act to be covered in the report include the following:

· Alternatives to rice straw burning and recommendations of the Alternatives Advisory Committee;
· Progress toward achieving the 50 percent diversion goal for off-field uses of rice straw;
· Progress of the burning phase-down;
· Environmental and economic assessments; and
· Any related issues, including any recommendations.

The Draft 2001 Report to the Legislature - Progress Report on the Phase Down of Rice Straw Burning in the Sacramento Valley will be available by May 25th on the ARB website at:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/smp/rice/phsdown/phsdown.htm

A hard copy may be obtained by contacting Theresa Najita at (916) 322-7297 or by e-mail at tnajita@arb.ca.gov.

Questions about the workshop may be directed to Theresa Najita at (916) 322-7297 or by e-mail at tnajita@arb.ca.gov. Written comments on the phase down reports may be sent to:

Mr. Robert Fletcher, Chief
Planning and Technical Support Division
Air Resources Board
P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, California 95812

The facility is accessible to persons with disabilities. If accommodation is needed, please contact Stephanie Hernandez at (916) 323-4916. Persons with hearing or speech impairments can contact us using our Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (916) 324-9531 or (800) 700-8326 for TDD calls from outside the Sacramento Area.

Sincerely,



Robert D. Fletcher, Chief
Planning and Technical Support Division