Do you have open disturbed areas or unprotected stockpiles on your construction project? Do you have unpaved construction roads where trucks and equipment potentially generate dusty conditions? If so, you probably need to think about implementing dust control measures.

The purpose of dust control on construction projects is to minimize erosion due to wind and reduce the amount of dust generated during construction activities. During construction activities, examples of where dust control should be used includes area with exposed soils resulting from clearing, grubbing and grading, construction entrances/exits, construction roads, and soil and debris stockpiles.

Dust should not be considered a regular part of construction. Proper planning ahead of time and implementing best management practices (BMPs) throughout the duration of earth disturbing activities will minimize dust on your project.

Common BMPs for dust control for construction projects include: 1) minimizing exposed areas by phasing construction; 2) spraying water; 3) covering soil and debris stockpiles; 4) stabilizing construction entrances/exits with aggregate and geotextile; 5) establishing vegetation; and 6) mulching. The most commonly used BMP for dust control is spraying water. However, be mindful to avoid over watering that could cause erosion or runoff conditions.

Remember that BMPs are only effective if implemented properly. Minimizing the amount of exposed area during construction activities should be a priority. Phasing construction and maintaining or establishing vegetation prevents erosion conditions and the likelihood for dusty conditions.