Thursday, May 3, 2012

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: Dirt Blowing Across 2 Freeway Every Afternoon

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 3, 2012.  By 1PM, the winds pick up and I can taste the dirt blowing in my direction from the controversial 16-lot subdivision in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The developer was doing a good job wetting the dirt in the morning, controlling the dust.  As soon as the winds pick up every afternoon, you can see the dirt blowing with every scoop.  They only seem to sporadically wet the dirt during the afternoon work.

They are lining up the trucks in a circle and dumping the dirt quickly, in an organized fashion, but they are not doing a great job in controlling the "fugitive dust."

We've written considerably about "fugitive dust" and Particulate Matter (PM10 & PM2.5).  It's the Particulate Matter, the microscopic stuff you can't see, that can kill you.  If you live within 1000' feet of a freeway, breathing Diesel Particulate Matter is documented risk comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  Combine our high baseline of Diesel PM exposure from the freeways, with fugitive dust from construction sites, and you wonder why so many of your neighbors are coughing and wheezing?

I thought the point of the Hillside Ordinance was to minimize the impacts of development on our hillsides.  I suppose that would take City leadership who understood and cared what exactly was involved when you talk about clear cutting nearly 4 acres of urban forest and completely removing and recompacting an entire hillside, just to build a few homes.  What a waste.