Air Quality Mitigation

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As part of the 2003 QSA Water Transfer, the Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program (Program) was developed to address air quality mitigation requirements that are associated with transferring up to 300,000 acre-feet of conserved water per year. The transfer of water reduces the volume of agricultural return flow to the Salton Sea, exposing playa and increasing the potential for dust emissions around the Salton Sea. Mitigation measures to address potential dust emissions include: 1) restricting access to exposed playa, 2) researching and monitoring the exposed playa, 3) creating or purchasing offsetting emission reduction credits and 4) implementation of direct emission reduction measures on the exposed playa. The Program’s objective is to detect, locate, assess and identify options to mitigate dust from the exposed playa.  

In July 2016, The Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program document was accepted by IID’s Board of Directors to provide a comprehensive, science-based, adaptive approach to the air quality mitigation requirements. The Program includes steps to characterize emissions potential of the exposed playa as the Salton Sea recedes and provide options to proactively prevent significant dust emissions. The Salton Sea Air Station Network, deployed in 2010, was set up to monitor baseline ambient Particulate Matter 10 concentrations around the Salton Sea area. Two stations located on the west side, two on the east side and one each on the north and south of the Salton Sea measure PM10, PM2.5 and calculated PM coarse. Meteorological instruments including wind speed and direction, ambient temperature, relative humidity and net radiation are also monitored at each site. A series of dust control pilot projects have been implemented on the exposed playa to test methods of controlling dust proactively. In 2015 and 2016 both pilot surface roughening and pilot vegetation enhancement were implemented on the playa. Continued monitoring of the sites using remote cameras and mobile meteorological instruments, as well as on the ground monitoring, inform the air quality team of the pilot projects success as a proactive measure over time.  

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 Alamo River Surface Roughening Pilot Project
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Technical Memorandum - Salton Sea - Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network 2016-2017 Data Review [PDF]
Technical Memorandum - Review Process for 2016, 2017, 2018 First Quarter, and 2018 Second Quarter Meteorological and Air Quality Datasets [PDF]

 2016-2017 Annual Report and Emissions Estimates, Part 1 [PDF]

 2016-2017 Annual Report and Emissions Estimates, Part 2 [PDF]

Attachment 1, part A (July-Sept 2016) [xls]

Attachment 1, part B (Oct-Dec 2016) [xls]

Attachment 1, part C (Jan - July 2017) [xls]

Attachment 2, piswerl [xls]

 

The Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program’s 2016-2017 Annual Report and Emissions Inventory provides a comprehensive, science-based, adaptive approach to estimate the annual and maximum PM10 emissions from the playa and adjacent desert areas of the Salton Sea for the 2016 – 2017 wind season. This annual report is a requirement of the Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program, has a limited focus and does not expand into other areas that may provide air quality mitigation as a secondary benefit (such as habitat creation, restoration or renewable energy development projects). Further, this document is not intended to serve as a restoration plan for the Salton Sea or to make predetermined decisions regarding the implementation of air quality mitigation projects. The Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program establishes an on-going process to detect, locate, assess and identify options to mitigate dust emissions from exposed Salton Sea playa, and provides the scientific support for IID to make decisions regarding the determination of specific mitigation measures for implementation.

 

This Annual Report presents results for the 2016 – 2017 monitoring year, July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, including: mapping exposed playa, evaluation of playa surface characteristics, emissions potential of different playa surface types and characteristics, map of actively emissive playa dust source areas and plumes, estimate of annual dust emissions from the playa, and estimate of annual dust emissions from the desert areas around the Salton Sea to quantify any impacts on the Salton Sea playa.

 

More information on the Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program can be found in the Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program Document and 2017 – 2018 Proactive Dust Control Plan.

Proactive Dust Control Plan - 2017/2018 [PDF]
Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program Document [PDF]
Fact Sheet - Surface Roughening [PDF]
Fact Sheet - Vegetation Enhancement [PDF]
Fact Sheet - Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program [PDF]
Fact Sheet - Dust Control Pilot Studies [PDF]
Fact Sheet - Dust Control Pilot Studies Map [PDF]