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EPA Calls on Calif. to Remove Agricultural Exemption from State Law

Release Date: 2/13/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, US EPA (415) 947-4307

     Move paves way for agency approval of air permitting program

     SAN FRANCISCO   Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing a call
to the state of California to remove the agricultural permitting exemption from state law for
major sources under the Federal Clean Air Act.  

     This action allows the agency to approve the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District's new source review permitting program.

     "The San Joaquin District has done the right thing bringing its program into compliance
with federal law," said Jack Broadbent EPA's Air Division Director for the Pacific Southwest
region.  "Now the state needs to support the district and step up to the plate by removing the
exemption from state law."

     The EPA and the district worked together to make changes needed to approve their new
source review permitting program.  However, the state exemption for agricultural sources pre-
empts the district's attempt to remove the exemption, making the district plan unenforceable for
major agricultural sources.  Last year, the EPA put the state on notice to remove the agricultural
exemption for Title V permitting.

     Changes made to the district's new source review permitting program include:
    * Developing an improved emissions off-set tracking program
    * Ensuring the most stringent control technology requirements are applied to all sources
    * Removing the agriculture exemption district-wide for major sources.  

     The call to remove the exemption for all air permitting programs puts the state on notice that
new sanctions clocks will be triggered at the end of this year if the change is not made.

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