contrailsSome residents of the Bishop area have lately complained about jet airplane contrails in the sky and the belief that chemical products or some type of haze may hang in the Eastern Sierra skies as a result. The Air Pollution Control District looked into it.

Andrea Pucci of Bishop contacted APCD Director Ted Schade to say that she has seen and believes planes at high elevation are flying back and forth in all directions for a matter of hours, leaving rectangular patterns formed by “aerosol spraying.” Pucci suggested that the planes were engaged in spraying of chemicals. She pressed Schade for answers.

Director Schade did investigate. He said that he and his staff spoke to LADWP, Fish and Game and the Forest Service about spraying over the Sierra. He said none of those agencies was engaged in any spraying activity. Schade said he also checked the APCD particulate matter monitoring stations and “found nothing to indicate that any peaks of particulate matter had been measured at ground level during the periods…of concern.”

Schade said he believes the patterns observed were normal jet condensation trails or contrails that occur in low-wind conditions. Ms. Pucci pointed to information about chemtrails. Schade said the theories have not been peer-reviewed in reputable scientific journals. Ms. Pucci said that the haze in the sky has interfered with her passive solar home. She pointed to the repeated passage of planes.

Beyond theories, Schade did say that Great Basin Air Pollution Control District only has authority over stationary sources and no authority over jet plane activity and high altitude pollution sources. He suggested the California Air Resources Board would have that jurisdiction.


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