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Position:List of Measures»Stationary Sources-Agricultural and forestry»Control of Open Burning of Agricultural Wastes

Stationary & Fugitive Sources
Control of Open Burning of Agricultural Wastes
Source Category Pollutants Related Authorities Cost Summary
Stationary Sources-Agricultural and forestry PM, NOx, VOCs Local governments TBD Reduce particulate matter, NOx, and VOC emissions from open burning by restricting the amount burned on permissive burn days or under certain meteorological criteria.

Reduce particulate matter, NOx and VOC emissions from open burning.


Existed regulation prohibits open burning with some exceptions. These exceptions, to allow certain burning on permissive burn days, include burning for hazardous waste reduction; removal of flood debris; marsh, forest and range management; burning of contraband; fire training; and burning of agricultural debris. Burning of agricultural debris is typically limited to a certain time period depending on what is being burned; e.g., crop stubble, orchard prunings, or crops to be replaced. A permissive burn day is called when air pollution from open burning is not expected to adversely impact ambient air quality or downwind populations according to meteorological criteria. However, the regulation does not limit the quantity of material burned for agricultural operations. As indicated by the level of reported complaints, in some cases, burning of large piles of vineyard prunings have significantly impacted populations on marginally permissive burn days. Therefore, tougher restrictions for the amount burned on permissive burn days or under certain meteorological criteria should be implemented to reduce emissions further.

Expected Results

Emission Reduction Pollutants Emission Reductions(tons/day) VOCs 0.04 NOx 0.01 PM2.5 0.09 Exposure Reduction This measure will reduce exposure to PM without reducing total emissions if additional meteorological conditions forburning were considered. Co‐benefits Direct reduction in PM, NOx and VOC from open burning. Emission Reduction Trade‐offs: Increased composting of agricultural waste could increase emissions from composting operations, a subject of another control measure. However, a reduction of particulate matter in the atmosphere could reduce the number of days that wood burning is prohibited.

Related Authorities

Local governments

Implementation Action

Restrict the amount burned on permissive burn days or undercertain meteorological criteria.


To be determined

Monitoring Mechanisms

To be determined


1. San Joaquin Valley Unified APCD 2003 PM10 Plan 2. San Joaquin Valley Unified APCD 2006 PM10 Plan 3. District emissions inventory, agricultural burning