The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to revise its air quality permitting process for California´s farmers.
The EPA will issue new rules that require farmers who use diesel irrigation pumps to calculate a pump´s maximum potential to emit pollution — rather than its actual emissions.
Farmers affected by the new rules will have to reapply for air pollution permits by November 13th.
In a lawsuit filed in May, environmental groups accused the EPA of violating the Clean Air Act when the agency required farmers to estimate their own pollution emissions instead of calculating the pump´s potential to pollute.
In the San Joaquin Valley, state officials estimate farms produce as much as 20 percent of smog-producing gases. The farm-rich valley is one of the most polluted air basins in the country.