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Inside the Navy – Marine Corps Deploying More Dust Abatement Equipment to Iraq (TPD0609021)

Inside the Navy – 09/25/2006


Posted: Sep. 25, 2006


The Marine Corps is equipping its force in Iraq with more hardware to distribute dust palliatives, which help reduce the hazards of landing helicopters in desert environments.

The palliatives are dispersed by 900-gallon trailer-mounted hydroseeders, 1,200-gallon skid mounted hydroseeders and 2,500-gallon scraper-mounted water distributors. The hydroseeders are made by Finn Corp. of Fairfield, OH, and the water distributors are manufactured by Caterpillar.

Currently, there are eight of each type of hydroseeder in Iraq. Additional hardware will be fielded to all garrison units there by end of the year, Mike Farley, team leader for material and construction equipment for Marine Corps Systems Command, told Inside the Navy last week.

The water distributors should be fielded by March 2007, Farley said.

The objective is to have 25 hydroseeder trailers mounted, 25 hydroseeder skids mounted and 25 2,500- gallon water distributors, Farley said.

Since January 2004, four dust abatement technologies have been used in theater: EnviroKleen, Soiltac®, Surtac and Envirotac II.

EnviroKleen is a liquid polymer. It was developed by Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. Soiltac was developed by Soilworks, as was Surtac, which the company licensed after it was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory. Envirotac II was developed by Environmental Products & Applications, Inc.

One particular palliative does not work better than another, Farley said.


“There’s mixed results,” he noted. “The palliative by itself is not totally the answer.”


Each palliative reacts differently in different soil types and the chemicals are best used in combination with gravel and matting technology, Farley explained.

“What we’re trying to do is combine [mat] technology with a [liquid] membrane type, dust abatement material. You would have a 200-by-200 square foot area you would stabilize with a liquid membrane and then you would come and put your mat membrane in the middle, let’s say 100-by-100,” Mike Jiavaras, the expeditionary airfield team lead at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, NJ, explained to ITN in February (ITN, Feb. 27, p1).

This testing is ongoing, Jiavaras said last week.


“What we’re doing is sitting back and waiting for Naval Air Systems Command to provide the non-liquid application,” Farley noted. Naval Air Systems Command must approve all landing surfaces for aircraft, he added.

A dust palliative guidebook is set for release within 30 days, Farley said Sept. 20. The approximately 60- page book includes pictures and describes how each palliative should be applied.

“There are so many palliatives out there,” Farley said. “What we’ve done is we’ve focused in on those


that generally do not create any problems for the water [supply] or soil.”


Funding for the dust abatement program is $5 million in the FY-06 budget. Phased procurements are planned for FY-06 through FY-08. — Zachary M. Peterson

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