Soil stabilizer could be solution to I-10 dust storms in Pinal County
PHOENIX — An environmentally-friendly solution known as soil stabilizer could be the answer for dust storms along the Interstate 10 in Pinal County.
The concept was recently approved by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to treat nearly 100 acres of dirt along the I-10.
Between Phoenix and Tucson, gusty winds over the open desert create dust storms, quickly reducing visibility to near-zero for drivers.
“The intent is to put a crust on top of the soil to prevent blowing dust,” ADEQ Acting Air Quality Division Director Daniel Czecholinski told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
But how does it work?
“The soil stabilizer forms a crust on top of the upper layer of the desert that prevents or reduces the amount of blowing dust during high wind events,” Czecholinski said.
“Also, as it rains throughout the year it reactivates the stabilizer to reform the crust to prevent blowing dust in future years.”
ADEQ is also funding a team of researchers from the University of Arizona to determine the effectiveness of soil stabilizer and a second treatment — mulch created from recycled landscape materials — for reducing blowing dust.
Over the next year, the team will conduct a study on an additional three acres of land.