Release 00-12
June 8, 2000 


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

ARB Announces Agriculture Air Quality Committee

SACRAMENTO - California Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd today announced formation of a committee to better understand the agricultural community's concerns about air pollution and gain their participation in efforts to reach clean air goals.

"The Air Quality and Agriculture Advisory Committee will provide a forum to identify and promote clean air strategies relating to agriculture," said Dr. Lloyd during opening remarks Thursday at the Air Quality and Agriculture Forum in Tulare.

The Committee will be made up of representatives from California's farming community and the businesses and institutions that support the farming community. Other members will come from state and local government and research institutions. ARB Executive Officer Michael P. Kenny will chair the Committee.

The Committee is expected to meet twice each year, with a kickoff meeting proposed June 21. Anticipated topics to be explored may include:

· Incentive programs to reduce agricultural air pollution;
· Voluntary programs to meet federal and state clean air requirements;
· Introduction of advanced clean air technologies to agriculture;
· Recognition of air quality benefits from innovative agricultural practices;
· Research studies and practical applications of their results;
· Use of biomass and other renewables from agricultural operations.

The idea for such a committee was originally broached last November in Fresno, when representatives from the agriculture community approached Governor Gray Davis and California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Winston H. Hickox concerning formation of a group to advise the state on air quality issues that impact agriculture. The ARB and California Department of Food and Agriculture followed up on that discussion by establishing the Air Quality and Agriculture Advisory Committee.

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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