Photo: Dodge Flats Sunset by Amanda Davis
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is greatly concerned about air pollution especially those that pose risks to human health, impairment to visibility, and air deposition of pollutants impacting the environmental health to the Natural Resources of the Pyramid Lake Reservation.
Air pollution sources stem from the rapid growth and development of the areas surrounding the reservation, power plant emissions, extensive mining operations, dust originating from the many playas in the area, and frequent wild fires throughout the summer months occurring both locally and regionally. Pyramid Lake is a destination recreation area, which results in high numbers of recreational vehicles and watercraft use throughout the year, also wood burning for home heating in the winter is sometimes a necessity which also contributes to air pollution. During the winter months, an inversion layer can trap smog from Reno, Sparks and surrounding communities impacting the visibility of the exceptionally beautiful vistas of the Pyramid Lake Basin. Pollutant transport negatively impacts the breathable air quality, which can have secondary impacts of the economy of the Tribe. Pyramid Lake is dependent on fishing and recreational actives.
The Tribal Air Quality Program is collecting ambient air quality data on an hourly basis. In support of the air data collected, meteorological data is collected every five minutes.
The data collected will be used to determine ambient levels of PM10 (particles less than 10 microns in size), observe pollution trends locally and thought the region, develop or modify control strategies that prevent or alleviate air pollution episodes, provide real-time data to the public, and to submit air quality data to the EPA Air Quality System and other data collection agencies such as AIRNow and the National Weather Service.
There is one monitoring site on the Reservation. It is located in Wadsworth just north of Natchez Elementary School.