The Air Resources Board (the "Board" or "ARB") will conduct a public meeting at the time and place noted below to consider fiscal year 1999-00 grant awards to applicants from the Rice Straw Demonstration Project Fund.

DATE:   May 25, 2000
TIME:   9:30 a.m.
PLACE:   Air Resources Board
Hearing Room, Lower Level
2020 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

This item will be considered at a meeting of the Board, which will commence at 9:30 a.m., May 25, 2000 and may continue at 8:30 a.m., May 26, 2000. This item may not be considered until May 26, 2000. Please consult the agenda for the meeting, which will be available at least 10 days before May 25, 2000, to determine the day on which this item will be considered.

This facility is accessible to persons with disabilities. If accommodation is needed, please contact ARB's Clerk of the Board at (916) 322-5594, or Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (916) 324-9531, or (800) 700-8326 for TDD calls from outside the Sacramento area at least 14 days before the hearing.

The Rice Straw Demonstration Project Fund (the Rice Fund) was created to help establish a commercial market for Sacramento Valley rice straw in order to develop alternatives to burning. The Fund provides cost-sharing grants for projects which would use significant quantities of rice straw, a byproduct of rice grain production.

Seven grant requests were received for this round of funding, which consists of
$1.2 million of the allotted fiscal year 1999-2000 funds. Grant requests were evaluated for technical and business merit, program goals satisfaction, and policy compatibility by the ARB staff and expert reviewers using the funding criteria adopted by the Board at its January 29, 1998, public meeting. These criteria are set forth in the February 2, 2000, Air Resources Board's Staff Report entitled "Rice Straw Demonstrations Project Fund Invitation for Grant Requests." Over 300 individuals were invited to an April 25, 2000, public meeting in Sacramento to see six grant applicants present their proposals. The meeting notice was placed on ARB's website at and mailed to interested parties.

At the May 25, 2000, public meeting, staff will recommend the projects which should be funded based on the results of the review process. The Board will discuss the projects which the staff is recommending for funding and consider making the grant awards.

The public may present comments relating to this matter orally or in writing at the hearing, and in writing or by e-mail before the hearing. To be considered by the ARB, written submissions must be addressed to and received by the Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, California 95812, or 2020 L Street, 4th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814, no later than 12:00 noon Pacific Time May 24, 2000, or received by the Clerk of the Board at the hearing. To be considered by the ARB, e-mail submissions must be addressed to and received at the ARB no later than 12:00 noon Pacific Time, May 24, 2000.

The ARB requests, but does not require 30 copies of any written submission. Also, the ARB requests that written and e-mail statements be filed at least 10 days prior to the hearing so that ARB staff and Board Members have time to fully consider each comment.

Copies of the staff report may be obtained from the Board's Public Information Office, 2020 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 322-2990, at least 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

Further inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to Bob Fletcher, Chief, Planning and Technical Support Division, Air Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, California 95812, (916) 322-5350.


Michael P. Kenny
Executive Officer

Date: May 8, 2000


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