Dust Stabilization Project
Along some Arizona roads, the dust can become so severe, visibility drops for drivers leading to serious, even deadly, crashes. To help reduce the hazard of windblown dust for drivers, ADEQ is working to address potential source areas for blowing dust, such as barren and undeveloped lands. During high wind events, different types of land can experience more windblown dust than others, depending on plant coverage, soil type, wind obstructions, wind speed, and unstable soils.
Completed & Ongoing Projects
ADEQ has been focusing on areas along I-10 in Pinal County, after working with Arizona State Lands, private property owners, grazing lessees, Pinal County Air Quality, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) to identify areas that are more susceptible to windblown dust along highways. Projects involve using biodegradable and non-toxic chemical stabilizers to bind soil together in these affected areas, preventing dust particles from being suspended in the air.
These projects include:
This project consists of 0.69 miles of road work north of the Eleven-Mile Corner at the Pinal County Housing Authority, located east of Casa Grande, and was completed in October 2020. The Pinal County Housing Authority area consists of residents, an elementary school, and dust monitor that have been impacted by degrading road conditions in the neighborhood. A chipseal road surface road treatment was applied to approximate 0.69 miles of degraded roadway in the neighborhood. A gate was also installed to prevent entry into undisturbed open desert. This road treatment was estimated to reduce PM10 (or airborne dust particles) by 14 tons annually.
Milepost 214 on I-10
Consisting of 56 acres of private property and 2 miles of canal road, this area was identified as a hot spot for dust-related car crashes and treated with a soil stabilization product. Stabilization was completed in September 2017, and monitoring for dust continued for the following year, showing a minimal accumulation of dust. In addition, there were no reports of dust-related car crashes the year following the soil stabilization.
McCartney Road at milepost 190 on I-10
Consisting of 8 acres of disturbed soils on private property, this area was identified by ADEQ and partnering agencies as a source of windblown dust and stabilized in June 2019. Dust on this property had been disturbed using land-leveling equipment so it could be used as an unofficial remote control airplane landing strip.
Between mileposts 222 and 226 on I-10
Consisting of 90 acres of soils with barren vegetation on Arizona State Trust lands, this area's treatment was completed in June 2019. In addition, an ongoing research collaboration between ADEQ and the University of Arizona is looking to understand the soil health and dust suppression effectiveness of different application techniques. A woody mulch was applied to understand the long-term viability of the spray application vs. mulch, and the effects on soil health.
What Can I Do?
Drive safely. When visibility is compromised, safely pull off the roadway as soon as possible. Visit the Pull Aside, Stay Alive webpage for driving tips | Visit Page >