Release 97-08      

April 1, 1997
  CONTACT:  Jerry Martin / Allan Hirsch /
Richard Varenchik
(916) 322-2990
Media Advisory

ARB and CDFA Hold Workshop on Rice-Burning

SACRAMENTO -- The Air Resources Board (ARB) and the State Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will hold public workshops to gather public comments on the phase-down of rice straw burning in the Sacramento Valley. The following are the locations and times:

April 3, 1997

April 5, 1997

5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Colusa County Fairgrounds

California Air Resources Board

Festival Hall

Board Hearing Room (Lower Level)

1303 10th Street

2020 L Street

Colusa, California

Sacramento, California

The workshops will begin with brief presentations from ARB and CDFA staffs on the status of the phase-down, followed by public comments. No decisions will be made at the workshops; however, this is the best opportunity for the public to offer comments about the phase-down while preliminary drafts are being written.

The report submitted to the Legislature will reflect information gathered at these workshops. A draft copy of the report will be available for public review and comment in May and a revised report will be discussed at the ARB's August meeting.

These actions are being taken in accordance with 1991 legislation to phase-down rice straw burning in the Sacramento Valley. The phase-down statute progressively reduces the percentage of acres that may be burned until 2000 and requires the ARB and CDFA to develop a biennial report to the Legislature for each year's burn program, with consideration to comments gathered from stakeholders. Unless the Legislature makes changes to the plan, the law allows growers to burn 38 percent of their crops in 1997, down from 50 percent in 1996.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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