CALIFORNIA – Farmers in Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to help reduce emissions from diesel engines and other air pollution sources.

The USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Services, or NRCS, program will provide up to $37.5 million in funding annual over four years nationwide. Environmental Defense Fund partnered with farm groups and members of Congress last year to develop the funding source within the 2008 Farm Bill.

NRCS recently approved funding for 586 of 2,500 applications submitted. Air quality improvement from this is expected to be equivalent to taking more than 150,000 cars off the road. Farmers and ranchers provide about half the funds needed to implement pollution-reducing practices, such as replacing older diesel engines with newer, more efficient ones.