USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers in California make improvements in their operations that can lead to improved air quality. Producers can sign up at any time throughout the year but applications for the initial round of funds must be submitted by Jan. 22, 2021. Assistance is being made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), National Air Quality Initiative (NAQI).

Financial assistance priority is targeted toward counties identified as having significant air quality resource concerns based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “nonattainment” designations for ozone and particulate matter or predesignated as “attainment (maintenance area)” for PM10 or PM2.5. These areas experience air pollution levels that persistently exceed the NAAQS established by the Clean Air Act. The following counties may be eligible for the National Air Quality Initiative: Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba. For more information about EQIP, how to apply, and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a local NRCS field office.

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