Urban Fold

Dust Busting For Air Quality

With one of the worst air quality ratings in the nation, metropolitan Phoenix is looking to reduce its pollution. Part of a new clean air plan targets the construction industry, which produces much of the dust that affects air quality.

"On construction sites where more than 50 acres of land will be disturbed, someone there must be the designated 'dust manager.'"

"This regulation is on a list of 41 measures that may soon be required of businesses and residents in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and other communities within America's fastest-growing county. More measures may be added in the months ahead, but that's the blueprint as of Wednesday evening, when the regional Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) approved the cleanup plan."

"'Construction sites contribute most of the particles into the atmosphere,' says Joe Fernando, a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe who works on particle dispersion problems. 'It is realistic [and] possible to reduce those.'"

"The good news is that California's San Joaquin Valley, the other region to fall under the Five Percent Plan because of particulate matter, has shown that dust-reduction measures can work. Moreover, the topography there resembles that of metropolitan Phoenix – a valley surrounded by mountains that trap the dirty air within."

Full Story: Fast-growing Phoenix, beset by dirty air, targets construction in cleanup plan

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