Owens Lake Dust Mitigation
Owens Lake is the largest single source of PM-10 in the United States.
Water was first diverted from the Owens River to the City of Los Angeles in 1913, and by 1926 Owens Lake was dry. Today, the Owens lakebed produces enormous amounts of windblown dust in exceedence of federal air pollution standards for particulate matter. Particulate pollution is generally associated with dust, smoke and haze and is measured as PM-10 , which is an acronym for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter. Breathing PM-10 can cause a variety of health problems. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM10 is set at 150 µg/m³ for a 24-hour average. Studies of dust transport from Owens Lake show that the standard can be exceeded more than 50 miles away and expose many more people to violations of the PM-10 standard than just the residents near Owens Lake. The dust from Owens Lake affects about 40,000 permanent residents between Ridgecrest and Bishop.
JOINT STATEMENT OF
GREAT BASIN UNIFIED AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT
AND CITY OF LOS ANGELES NEGOTIATING TEAMS
July 15, 1998
The negotiating teams from the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (District) and the City of Los Angeles (City) have developed a proposed Memorandum of Agreement to resolve the disputes between the City and the District concerning the City’s challenge of the District’s proposed 1997 State Implementation Plan and associated Order controlling particulate matter (PM-10) air pollution from Owens Lake in Inyo County, California. The attached proposal is being released to the public for comment and will be presented to the governing boards of both parties for consideration before July 30, 1998, with a recommendation for adoption.