North American playas are large dust emitters. Dotting the deserts of the Southwestern United States, these dry lake beds are highly saline from the concentration of salts following evaporation. These salt deposits can become entrained in the air when winds scour the dried lakebed. The resulting saline dust has a high fraction of halogenated compounds, primarily those containing chlorine. When the chlorine-containing aerosols (the dust that remains suspended in the atmosphere) mix with nitrogen oxides (primarily dinitrogen pentoxide), a gas called nitryl chloride (ClNO2) is produced. Sunlight interacts with ClNO2, breaking it apart into chlorine radicals that participate in the formation of tropospheric ozone.
During the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) 2017 vendor Exhibit, themed “Transforming Connectivity,” Air Sciences was presented with the Professional Services Contractor of the Year award. The event was organized by LADWP to help promote economic development, diversity in contracting, and excellence in water and power services to the agency and residents of Los Angeles. Dr. Mark Schaaf (Air Sciences), as well as supporting subcontractor team member Dr. John Dickey (PlanTierra) and Mica Heilmann (Land IQ), accepted the award on the team’s behalf from Commissioner Noonan who praised Air Sciences for supporting “LADWP’s goal of providing opportunities to small-, minority-, and women-owned firms by effectively including and utilizing SBE, MBE, and WBE firms as its contractors.”