Stakeholder Outreach and Exploration of Dust Mitigation and Suppression Strategies for Exposed Playa at the Salton Sea

Project ID: 21013
Principal Investigator: Meghan Thiemann
Research Topic: Public and Employee Safety
Funded Fiscal Years: 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

Since windblown dust poses significant health risks to residents in Imperial and Riverside Counties, the DOI's Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. ยง 7401) responsibilities at the Sea may be significant should conditions worsen. Under the Clean Air Act, Reclamation may be required to provide a comprehensive inventory of actual emissions from all sources and implement a plan for reducing emissions using available control measures within specific and enforceable timeframes. Reclamation estimates that by 2025 approximately 13,200 acres of DOI lands (Reclamation: 5,614 acres, USFWS: 5,409 acres and BLM: 2,180 acres) will be exposed from a receding Sea. Using extremely conservative estimates related to air quality mitigation costs at Owens Lake, mitigation for these lands could cost $337 million in the next 10 years.
This project will work with stakeholders to prioritize testing of new dust control strategies and develop an approach and methodology that considers the biological, political, and social conditions at the Salton Sea.

Need and Benefit

This research idea was coordinated with the S&T research coordinator and added to the BOR FY21 environmental research ideas excel file. The project builds on work completed under S&T 20043, which was also in the Environmental Issues for Water Delivery and Management (EN) research area and Water Delivery Reliability research category. The proposal responds to the Lower Colorado Basin (LCB) Regional Director Need, Fugitive dust mitigation at the Salton Sea, which is listed in the EN research area.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Stakeholder Outreach and Exploration of Dust Mitigation and Suppression Strategies for Exposed Playa at the Salton Sea (final, PDF, 3.5MB)
By Meghan Thiemann, Angel Gutierrez, Jeremy Brooks
Report completed on September 30, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20