PRESS RELEASE | ADEQ leading efforts to prevent dust-related accidents by going to the source – the dust

Press Release
Air Quality
The I-10 Dust Group has made progress in addressing dust coming from open desert during periods of high winds along I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix
Friday, February 23, 2018

When winds pick up, dust kicks up. Along stretches of I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, dust can become so severe, visibility drops for drivers causing serious, even deadly, accidents. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is taking steps to solve this issue by going to the source.

Over the last year, the I-10 Dust Group has taken measures to address blowing dust during periods of high wind along I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Led by ADEQ, this group includes representatives from other Arizona state and county agencies, as well as tribes and neighboring state agencies. Through a collaborative effort this group has:

  • Successfully completed the first pilot soil stabilization project near mile marker 214 on I-10 near Picacho Peak, which is a hotspot for dust-related accidents.
  • Developed a process to collectively respond to new localized dust events and observations.
  • Developed a dust report form that is used by all Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) field staff to report dust events to the group.

The I-10 Dust Group continues their work to identify additional parcels of concern and to develop plans for mitigation. Additional projects are planned for 2018.

Details on the Pilot Soil Stabilization Project near mile marker 214:
Approximately 60 acres of land, adjacent to I-10, was treated with Soil-Sement, a soil stabilization product. The parcel of land treated was identified by the I-10 Dust Group as directly related to previous accidents and is almost completely void of vegetation. The soil stabilizer application was completed in September 20, 2017. On September 29, 2017, sedimentation monitor devices were placed by University of Arizona and Pinal County Air Quality Department at both the south and north ends of the property to monitor soil that may move onto and off of the treated parcel. Monitoring of the devices in November showed no sediment collected and the surface remains stable, without any visible dust emissions. Funding for this project was provided by ADEQ.

I-10 Dust Group participants include:

  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Arizona State Lands Department
  • University of Arizona, National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)
  • Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Pinal County Air Quality Department
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, and Arizona Department of Agriculture
  • Pima County Department of Air Quality
  • Gila River Indian Reservation
  • New Mexico Department of Transportation

Contact: ADEQ Public Information Officer – 602-771-2215 desk/602-540-8072 cell