This has been one of the big mitigation failures and public health impacts of large-scale solar projects in desert areas.

The removal of established vegetation, biological soil crusts, and centuries old desert pavement soils types creates opportunities for dust to be airborne every time the wind blows. Not only does fugitive dust create problems for visual and biological resources, it creates issues for public health as well. Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a common issue in the desert regions when too much land is disturbed. The top right photo is from 2019 of the Sunshine Valley Solar Project in Amargosa Valley, Nevada. In spite of great effort, dust was never mitigated during construction. The middle right photo is the Athos Solar Project in Riverside County, CA. The soil on the entire site was bulldozed.

Impacts to the local community:

Large-scale solar projects destroy the scenery, remove wildlife, create dust problems and access issues to large tracts of land, no matter what the ownership of the land is. The projects can require so much land that any adjacent communities and property owners are almost always adversely impacted. It becomes difficult to even sell a property adjacent to a large-scale solar project due to the adverse visual impacts. For example, the Aratina Solar Project EIR's aesthetics report concludes that the proposed project would result in adverse visual change and potentially significant impacts on existing visual character and scenic quality from public views near the project site. This includes but is not limited to areas within and surrounding SR 58, Twenty Mule Team Road, Borax Road, Sierra View Street, Chaparral Avenue, Ferguson Street, South Wesley Street, Boron Avenue, and Boron Park.