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New, Innovative Approaches to Dust Control Needed at Owens Lake, Report Says

Feb. 26, 2020 New, Innovative Strategies to Dust Command Desired at Owens Lake, Report Says...

Feb. 26, 2020

New, Innovative Strategies to Dust Command Desired at Owens Lake, Report Says

WASHINGTON – A new report from the Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication finds new and progressive techniques to dust handle are required at Owens Lake, California, to increase air top quality, reduce drinking water use, and maintain habitats.

Effectiveness and Impacts of Dust Command Steps for Owens Lake suggests although substantially development has been produced in enhancing air top quality by means of dust handle, none of the dust handle strategies at the moment in use at the lake satisfy the mandated stages of air top quality although also addressing considerations about drinking water use and natural environment. Existing dust handle measures are dominated by strategies that use substantial quantities of drinking water, these kinds of as shallow flooding. The report suggests long term investigate study person and hybrid dust handle strategies and create new techniques for preparing and analyzing the use of those people strategies. 

Owens Lake used to deal with about one hundred sq. miles, right up until drinking water was diverted from the Owens River in 1913 to deliver drinking water to the city of Los Angeles. The diversion brought on substantial parts of the lake mattress to dry out, and now it covers significantly less than a single-third of its previous area. Ahead of dust controls were carried out, the uncovered lakebed generated substantial quantities of dust below higher winds, resulting in the greatest concentrations anywhere in the U.S. of airborne PMten, or particulate subject with a diameter of ten micrometers or significantly less.

The Los Angeles Department of H2o and Ability (LADWP) has invested $two.one billion on dust handle endeavours as of Might 2019, generally in the form of shallow flooding of the lake, which is used on about sixty two per cent of the dust handle locations on the lakebed. In a 2014 stipulated judgment, LADWP and the Fantastic Basin Unified Air Pollution Command District (GBUAPCD) agreed to depend significantly less on shallow flooding for dust handle and to investigate new, refined strategies that reduce drinking water use. The stipulated judgment also directed that the Nationwide Academies appraise the efficiency of choice dust handle endeavours, taking drinking water use, expense, reliability, longevity, and environmental impacts into account.

“Much development has previously been produced in controlling dust at Owens Lake,” reported David Allen, director of the Center for Vitality and Environmental Means at the College of Texas at Austin, and chair of the panel that wrote the report. “However, our report finds that Owens Lake desires progressive solutions that not only handle dust to satisfy air top quality criteria but use significantly less drinking water and satisfy the desires of the neighborhood natural environment as nicely.”

The report emphasizes that dust handle strategies used at a assortment of places on the lakebed should really be evaluated working with a units approach, examining their means to increase air top quality and their positioning — looking at proximity to groundwater, salinity, habitats, and drinking water discounts prospective. Administration choices should really get the value and abundance of varied ecosystems into consideration, these kinds of as the lake’s shallow flooding locations that catch the attention of migratory and nesting birds or the alkaline meadows made by vegetated dust handle measures. Regional tribes have expressed considerations about the prospective damage to valued cultural sources on the Owens Lake mattress — brought on by the use of hefty equipment and leveling operations that occur with some dust handle measures — and preservation of the normal landscape. The report suggests that a units approach can greatest handle the various aims of dust handle and considerations about its effect.

GBUAPCD and LADWP should really create and deploy new strategies to evaluate PMten emissions from person dust handle locations, supplementing the current checking network, the report suggests. Relocating forward, general performance of dust handle measures should really be extra directly joined to PMten emissions, as opposed to surrogate metrics like percentage of land covered by vegetation. This would allow the use of extra progressive and adaptive tactics for dust handle.

The examine — undertaken by the Owens Lake Scientific Advisory Panel — was sponsored by Fantastic Basin Unified Air Pollution Command District and the Los Angeles Department of H2o and Ability. The Nationwide Academies are private, nonprofit establishments that provide impartial, objective evaluation and assistance to the country to clear up advanced difficulties and notify general public policy choices linked to science, technological know-how, and medicine. They function below an 1863 congressional constitution to the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. 

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