Midwest Helps Déline Community Stamp out Airborne Dust and Improve Air Quality

In Dust Control, EK35®, Gravel Runway, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., Road & Surface Management, Roads, Unpaved Roads by John Burnett

The Déline community in Canada’s Northwest Territories recently put an end to its serious dust control problems with an environmentally friendly solution from Midwest.

This year, the dust control professionals at Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. attended the 20th National Tribal Forum on Air Quality. The Forum — a yearly gathering of First Nations communities, governmental organizations, and businesses committed to the effective management of air quality — is a valuable opportunity to learn more about the state of air quality control.

In addition to learning about attendees’ responses to air quality issues, the Forum provided Midwest’s John Burnett the chance to present on our recent success mitigating road dust for the Déline community in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Along with Leonard Kenny, a Councillor for the Déline Got’ine Government and former Chief, Burnett demonstrated how Midwest’s advanced road dust control products offered the community an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution.

Managing Runaway Dust

Déline is a small First Nations community located on the edge of the Northwest Territories’ Great Bear Lake, the eighth largest lake in the world. The town — population 533 — depends on the natural beauty and pristine conditions of its environment to drive tourism and provide for its residents. While the Déline Got’ine have longed called the area home, they recently reached a breaking point with a persistent problem: road dust.

As the remote community’s roads are unpaved, airborne dust has become a major issue. Dust kicked up by residents’ and visitors’ vehicles has been linked to asthma in the community, forcing seniors and children to stay inside and close their windows during the region’s brief summer. Poor air quality also threatens the community’s tourism industry, both by contributing to environmental hazards and by damaging vehicles.

To manage road dust, Déline had previously been using calcium chloride. While the compound can provide a modicum of relief, it’s harmful to the environment and risks contaminating groundwater, vegetation, and wildlife. For a community committed to environmental stewardship and perched on the shores of one of the world’s most well-protected bodies of freshwater, it was clear they needed a different strategy.

More Than a Product — A Comprehensive Solution

The community decided that it needed a solution that could provide a high level of dust control, stabilize and smooth out its roads, and protect the environment. What’s more, because Déline can be difficult to reach, this solution needed to last a long time to minimize the number of necessary applications.

Déline had been using Midwest’s EK35® product on their gravel runway with great success. The product had successfully eliminated airborne dust, the surface of the runway had become tightly bound, and it remained smooth after regular use. This compelled the community to look into the possibility of using EK35 on their roads.

Ultimately, applying EK35 to Déline’s unpaved roads virtually eliminated all fugitive dust emissions. The roads were stabilized and stayed smooth. Residents reported actually enjoying driving again, instead of worrying about potholes and dust damaging their vehicles. And, importantly, the product did not leach off the road during rain or snowmelt, thus reducing the risk of groundwater contamination and environmental degradation.

At Midwest, we’re proud to offer EK35 to environmentally conscious communities and businesses around the world. The product is EPA-verified safe for people and the environment, compliant with the Clean Water Act, and meets the requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.

We’re thrilled with the results we delivered to the Déline Got’ine community and look forward to working with their council in the future. For any organization looking to invest in state-of-the-art dust control and road stabilization solutions, Midwest is here to help.