Fugitive Dust

NHDES limits activities that result in the creation of fugitive dust.

Dust fills the air around a rock crushing operation.Fugitive dust is an air pollutant generated during commercial or business activities such as sand, gravel and rock crushing, road construction, parking lot and roadway cleaning, building construction and demolition, and earthmoving operations. It is also generated during loading and unloading of materials, wind-blown from material stockpiles and exposed soils, and from vehicular traffic. Fine dust inhaled deep into the lungs has been linked to a variety of health problems, ranging from nose and throat irritation to respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis, lung-damage and asthma. Dust can migrate into nearby surface water. Fugitive dust that settles on nearby vegetation can weaken or kill the vegetation. Dust restricts visibility at the job site and off-site and contributes to regional haze. Regional haze consists of fine dust particles, smoke, and moisture suspended in the air that impairs visibility. Learn about other impacts to health and the environment


Road work causes dust to fill the air.NHDES regulates fugitive dust created by commercial or business activities pursuant to Env-A 1002. NHDES limits activities that result in the creation of fugitive dust by requiring that fugitive dust be controlled on-site and not allow to migrate beyond the property boundary. Some exceptions to the rule are driving on dirt or gravel roads; application of sand or de-icing chemicals for pedestrian and vehicular safety; and agricultural or forestry industry operations. 

Env-A 1002.03 requires that “any person engaged in any activity that emits fugitive dust . . . shall take precautions throughout the duration of the activity in order to prevent, abate, and control the emission of fugitive dust.” One way to do that is to develop a fugitive dust control plan and follow best management practices. Further guidance on methods for prevention, abatement and control of fugitive dust.