(September 21, 2012. Brawley and El Centro) The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) held two workshops in the cities of Brawley and El Centro Thursday, September 20, to address the proposed revisions in the Regulation VIII Rules.
These revisionsÂ increase the stringency, enforceability, and clarity of rules controlling particulate matter air pollution that impact Imperial County communities. If adopted and submitted to EPA along with anticipated analysis, it is believed by the EPA that the proposed revisions would fulfill all relevant federal Clean Air Act requirements and address all rule deficiencies identified on previous versions of the Regulation VIII Rules.
The proposed rule changes to Regulation VIII Rules affect these specific rules:
Rule 800, General Requirements for Control of Fine Particulate Matter
Rule 804, Open Areas
Rule 805, Paved and Unpaved Roads
Rule 806, Conservation Management Practices
All of the changes have more stringent requirements.
Reyes Romero, Air Pollution Control Officer, presented the rule changes to a mixed crowd of supporters , including representatives from the EPA and Senator Dianne Feinsteinâ€™s office, and thoseÂ opposed to new regulations.
All farmers must have a Conservation Management Practices Plan for each field that they farm.
â€œWe tried to simplify the forms to make it easier toÂ monitor what the farmers are going to do to comply,â€ said BradÂ Poiriez, Air Pollution Control Officer. â€œWe want interaction and questions. Weâ€™re here to serve the people. If we donâ€™t know the concerns, we canâ€™t address them.â€
â€œThe changes to these rules are to make it more enforceable on the farmers for the APCD ,â€ said Poiriez.
SomeÂ of the otherÂ factors that play a part in the air quality of the Imperial Valley are “wind events” that bring in massive amounts of dust and the smog from Mexicali, Mexico, where there is little regulation on manufacturing processes and pesticides used on crops, some of which are banned in the US.
To see the Regulation VIII Rules in its entirety and the proposed changes, go to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District website.Â They welcome yourÂ questionsÂ and written questions will be answered back in writing.