Project at a Glance
Project Status: complete
Title: Research into the development of biological methods of dust suppression in the Antelope Valley.
Principal Investigator / Author(s): Zink, Thomas; Unger, Jason
Contractor: San Diego State University
Contract Number: 01-339
Topic Areas: Agriculture, Ecosystem Impacts, Field Studies, Impacts
Antelope Valley, located fifty miles north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, has been experiencing air quality problems caused by frequent dust storms. Bordered to the south by the San Gabriel Mountains, to the west by Coastal Mountain Ranges and to the northwest by the Tehachapi Mountains, Antelope Valley was intensely farmed until 10 to 20 years ago. Increased water costs caused many farmers to abandon farming, leaving vast tracts of bare, disturbed land. The air pollution problem caused by the abandonment of farms, miles of dirt roads, increased construction, summer brushfires and other human disturbances, combined with high winds, has led to high levels of PM10 in and around Lancaster and Palmdale. A resurgence of farming in Antelope Valley has been seen over the last few years. Most of the land used during the farming season is left fallow for up to three years because of pathogens in the soil from root crops. This practice introduces additional airborne dust into an already existing air problem. The Dustbusters, comprised of a coalition of local farmers, the Antelope Valley Resources Conservation District, the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the City of Los Angeles Department of World Airports, and Southern California Edison, invited the Soil Ecology and Restoration Group (SERG) of San Diego State University to join them in addressing issues of dust mitigation in Antelope Valley.
For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893
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