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Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Dust Control for Pollution Prevention

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Dust controls may be needed on sites for various activities, including land disturbance, demolition, or material handling. Dust may contain pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, or other contaminants. Rain can wash dust and its contaminants into the stormwater system or into a river or stream.

The City's Role

The federal Clean Water Act requires cities to set rules and regulations to protect the city's sewer and stormwater systems and its watersheds. Environmental Services works with business and industry to meet these requirements.

Rules and Regulations

Portland City Code 17.39 prohibits the discharge of sediment into the storm sewer. The discharge of sediment from the jobsite may result in investigations, issuance of penalties, and required corrective actions.

Guidance on how to utilize, install, and maintain dust control best management practices related to ground disturbing activities and construction site can be found in the Bureau of Development Services’ Erosion and Sediment Control Manual. If the project has an Erosion, Sediment, and Pollutant Control Plan, as required by the Erosion Control Manual, it must be followed.

Prevent Pollution through Best Management Practices

The following best management practices are recommended to control dust from land disturbances, demolition activities, and vehicle/equipment movement.

Dust Control for Demolition and Equipment

  • Lightly apply a mist of water over the area. Be sure to prevent the water from entering storm drains.
  • Install temporary or permanent soil stabilization controls, such as:
    • Spreading coarse gravel or crushed stone.
    • Mulching.
    • Seeding.
    • Planting trees and shrubs.
  • Install temporary or permanent windbreaks or barriers that reduce airborne dust particles by slowing wind speeds causing particles to drop. Large trees and shrubs left in place can provide wind barriers, while temporary measures include solid board fences, tarp curtains, sediment walls, crate walls, and bales of hay.
  • Lower vehicle speed limits. Faster vehicles increase the dust stirred up from unpaved roads and lots.
  • Restrict the number of vehicles that can access unpaved areas and consider alternate transportation routes.
  • Cover stockpiles with wind-impervious fabric.
  • Inspect dust controls frequently and reapply controls as needed.
  • Use street sweepers to collect dust. Vacuum sweepers are efficient and effective on dry areas. Brush sweepers can also be used but may create fugitive dust.
  • Manually sweep dust that has collected around storm drains and in hard-to-reach areas to minimize the potential for sediment entering storm drains and flowing to a river or stream.

Dust Control for Material Handling, Process, and Transfer Areas

  • Install dust collection systems, such as negative pressure systems (vacuum systems), collector systems (bag house and cyclone), or filter systems. Ensure systems are maintained, dust is adequately captured, and fugitive dust is minimized from the dust collection system.
  • Train employees in the proper operation of dust collection systems according to the manufacturers’ recommendations and inspect regularly.
  • Use street sweepers to collect dust. Vacuum sweepers are efficient and effective on dry areas. Brush sweepers can also be used but may create fugitive dust.
  • Manually sweep dust that has collected around storm drains and in hard-to-reach areas to minimize the potential for sediment entering storm drains and flowing to a river or stream.

Failure to implement applicable best management practices listed above may result in the discharge of pollutants, which is a violation of Portland City Code. The City will issue enforcement action in the form of a civil penalty, if pollutants are discharged from your facility. Appropriate measures to prevent the discharge of pollutants are required.