Air Board Drafting Proposed Ag Tractor Rules

The State Air Resources Board (ARB) this fall held its first round of public workshops as it drafts rules to transition mobile agricultural equipment to cleaner-burning, lower-emission Tier 4 engines.

The ARB’s Ag Tractor Rule will impact not only tractors, but all diesel-powered agriculture vehicles with engines higher than 25 hp, including harvesters, sweepers, sprayers and ATVs.

The public hearings, held in September and October throughout the state, explained to attendees the process ARB plans to use in developing the rule. ARB staff are aware of the diversity of California agriculture and the complexity such a rule will pose, and told attendees they needed more economic data from a wider range of growers to better understand the economic impacts of various regulatory options.

ARB is gathering information from industry-organized field days, such as the Almond Board’s recent Harvest Tour, along with data from a 2009 survey of growers and handlers by the California State University, Fresno Foundation, to better understand the types of equipment used in California, their size, age, rate of use and load. This information will be used in developing the proposed new rule.