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New truck hauling from Carpinteria sediment site is raising a dusty concern

After countless truck trips and debris removal from the winter storm disaster in Carpinteria and Montecito, again dump trucks are in motion on another big project.

With it on Carpinteria Avenue comes dust and particles. They are stirred up along the street as the trucks come out of the Salt Marsh where the work is taking place and where longtime resident Margaret Conners lives.

She’s now wearing an N-95 breathing mask to protect her lungs from the particulates in the air.

“We do get a lot of ash and dust on the streets and because they are moving the trucks out now they are coming through with the street cleaners,” said Conners.

When the trucks go by, she threw up her arms and said, “All the dust goes up in the air, and they do go by every five minutes, eight hours a day while the digging is being done.”

The county says the work is essential to clean out the sediment in the marsh and create channels for the winter water flow to follow. Without the work, the fresh water coming from the mountains would dominate the site and change its biological structure. The area is a research site for UC Santa Barbara as well.

But the air is full of dust when vehicles blow through and it’s an issue Conners would like to see changed. She seeking support from the county, city and anyone who lives around her.

“I have had people tell me that they are having health problems right now,” Conners said.

Santa Barbara County said the trucking will end briefly this week and resume again in a couple of weeks. Getting the work done in a tight timeline, safely has to all be balanced.

There is a sweeper that is working back and forth all day in the traffic lanes. The front of the vehicle has water sprayers to keep the dust down but there’s still evidence of particles being stirred up in the air by the sweeper and other vehicles going through the area.

Conners says she is making calls, not to complain but to possible change the sweeping plan or get more water on the dusty ground. “So I did spend a good part of the day talking to different agencies.”

At the same time, she wants some soil testing because of other concerns. “One of them is valley fever and toxic metals from the fire so it seems that somebody somewhere should be testing just to be on the safe side,” she said.

For more Flood Control information go to:

For more information about the Carpinteria Salt Marsh go to :

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