Imperial Irrigation District

Dust Mitigation and Assessment

Imperial Irrigation District/Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program Tasks

  • Providing our extensive technical expertise and scientific knowledge on air quality and dust mitigation to Salton Sea. Specifically, this includes development and implementation of a robust, science-based, pro-active, and adaptive air quality plan to detect, locate, assess and mitigate potential PM10 emissions associated with the Water Transfer Project.
  • Working with other IID contractors to provide the technical justification and defensible analyses for environmental impact statements and regulatory discussions. This has included making estimates of the potential PM10 emissions from exposed playa at the Sea.
  • Providing strategic regulatory support in dealing with the complex regulatory issues of the Salton Sea airshed and to work with the local agencies to develop working rules and policies for the Sea.
  • Providing assistance in the design of dust mitigation pilot studies in order to develop appropriate dust control technologies on Salton Sea. This includes the design of monitoring networks used to collect the data needed to evaluate these studies.
  • Providing technical expertise in processing, analyzing, and interpreting data collected by IID’s Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Lab (PI-SWERL), which is used quantify emissions potential of currently exposed playa surface types and off-Sea soils and washes.
  • Providing technical expertise in the development, planning, and design of the baseline air quality monitoring network which includes six air quality stations around the Salton Sea. Air Sciences has provided third party reviews of data being collected and assisted IID in troubleshooting instrument and data processing issues with the stations.
  • Providing analysis of baseline air quality data to identify conditions that lead to high PM10 concentrations and to identify off-Sea sources within the Imperial Valley that might mingle with future Salton Sea emissions.

Project Overview

Air Sciences is teamed with Formation Environmental and PlanTierra to provide air quality and dust mitigation services to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in support of the Water Conservation and Transfer Project (Project).

The Salton Sea is the largest inland lake in California, totaling more than 375 square miles in Imperial and Riverside counties.

The Sea supports diverse wildlife habitat and is a critical link on the Pacific Flyway for bird migration.

The Project includes a long-term transfer of up to 303,000 acre-feet of water annually from IID to the San Diego County Water Authority, Coachella Valley Water District, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The Project, along with other factors affecting Salton Sea (Sea) inflows and water balance, will result in reduced Sea elevations, Sea floor exposure, increased Sea salinity and increased selenium concentrations within the drains of the IID service area.

These factors combine to create significant environmental concerns, including: air quality (dust generated from exposed playa), loss of critical avian and fish habitat, and degraded water quality (salinity and selenium).

Air Sciences contribution to the team includes:

  • Design and Implementation of Dust Mitigation Studies
  • Air Quality Monitoring Networks
  • Regulatory Support and Agency Negotiation
  • Windblown Dust Emission Characterization
  • Source Identification and Dispersion Modeling Support


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