WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency proposes a range of rules to restrict so called “fugitive dust” -dust particles larger than 10 nanometers (PM10) – raised by soil disruption on unpaved roads, construction sites, range land and farms.
In rejecting part of California’s State Implementation Plan for attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards the EPA forces the state to redesign its plan for the region, or submit to the EPA proposed rules for limiting PM10 emissions. California has two years to revise its implementation plan to meet national standards before the EPA starts a federal implementation plan.
If California fails to submit a new plan, or if its revised plan still fails to meet ambient air quality standards, the EPA plans to require land owners of more than 40 acres to implement harvest, watering, and road use plans that will reduce the amount of dust in the air.
These requirements also would include security arrangements to prevent use of private and state lands by third parties in activities that disturb dry, loose soil.
Next to agriculture, construction sites are the leading contributor to fugitive dust, which is raised by construction equipment moving across exposed dirt. The EPA would include such sites, other than single family home developments, in its proposals.
The most common means of controlling dust is to keep the ground damp, but this practice conflicts with conservation measures in the parched Imperial Valley.
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