The Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Incentive Program provides incentives to commercial agricultural operations located within Valley Air District boundaries to chip or shred agricultural material.
Through the requirements of Senate Bill 705 (2003 Florez) and amendments to District Rule 4103 (Open Burning), the Valley has implemented open burning prohibitions for 90% of the crops identified in SB 705. Before the decline of the biomass industry and the recent historic drought across the Western U.S., these efforts resulted in an 80% reduction in the open burning of agricultural waste.
As required under Rule 4103 and consistent with CH&SC §41855.5 and 41855.6, the 2020 Staff Report and Recommendations on Agricultural Burning (2020 Report) is the District’s latest evaluation of agricultural open burning and consideration of any additional prohibitions and postponements. After two decades of working to reduce agricultural open burning, the 2020 Report is intended to establish the final framework for the phase-out, as feasible, of agricultural managed burning.
For more information regarding the District's 2020 Staff Report and Recommendations on Agricultural Burning please view the following page
On February 25, 2021, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to grant conditional concurrence with the Valley Air District’s 2020 Staff Report and Recommendations on Agricultural Burning. Concurrence, Resolution 21-4, was given for a six month period, during which time the District will work with CARB staff and the agricultural community to make additional revisions to the recommendations set forth in the 2020 report which are outlined in CARB’s Staff Recommendations. As a result of this action, there are some immediate changes to the restrictions on agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley, and additional changes that can be expected over the next few years.
Please review the District’s Compliance Assistance Bulletin for more details on approved crop categories.