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Environment

Dust Nuisance

Fugitive dust nuisance is defined as particulates emitted from any source other than a stack or chimney. 
Dust from demolition and construction sites can be a major source for dust complaints.  However, dust
from more localised sources such as DIY, house renovation, extensions etc can also cause neighbourhood dust nuisance.  Sometimes it is necessary for this Authority to carry out monitoring of dust levels, particularly for long term developments such as major construction sites, mining and quarrying etc.  Council officers can sometimes collect and analyse dust where the source may be unknown.

Construction companies carrying out major developments are encouraged to sign up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme which lays down good working practices and standards for control of emissions, including fugitive dust.

If you require our help please contact us.

Tell us:

  • Your Name, Address, and a contact telephone number
  • The address/site the fugitive dust originates from
  • Whether this problems is a single event, or occurs regularly
  • When the problems started, or if a regular occurrence typical problems times
  • The nature of the problems which the fugitive dust is causing

We will advise you of the reference number of your report, which you should quote if you contact us again about this matter.

Legal Controls on Fugitive Dust

The legal controls concerning fugitive dust are covered within the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Please see “How we investigate complaints”

The Investigating officer will need to visit your premises and take dust samples and measurements when the particular activity has happened or is happening to determine whether the dust created is a ‘statutory nuisance’.

The Environmental Protection Act provides for the service of a Dust Abatement Notice where statutory nuisance exists or is likely to occur or recur. A statutory dust nuisance is dust disturbance that would materially and therefore significantly interfere with an average person’s lawful right to the enjoyment of their home. If the Council is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, it must serve an Abatement Notice on the person/company responsible that requires the nuisance to be abated. This Notice can require the abatement of the nuisance, the restriction of the nuisance or require works to be undertaken within a reasonable specified time scale. This formal action may be deferred for up to 7 days where it is considered that the nuisance may be abated voluntarily by the person responsible.

A person who fails to comply with the requirements of the Notice may, subject to appeal, be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court and in the case of a trade or business premises be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of £20,000.

As part of the Council’s investigations we will ask you to describe the disturbance that you are suffering in detail before we approach the proprietor of the business informally to discuss the problem and seek a resolution.

Control of Dust
Methods to reduce the risk of dust nuisance include the following:-

  • installation of wheel-washing facilities at site entrances/exits;
  • water spraying of haul roads and stockpiles;
  • reduction of speeds on haul roads;
  • seeding stockpiles for long-term cover;
  • treating stockpiles with bonding agents;
  • sheeting of vehicles;
  • using sealed or sheeted containers/skips for waste materials;
  • erecting barriers or sheeting around works;
  • use of chutes to move materials;
  • fitting and maintaining of grit and dust arrestment plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What am I breathing in?

A. If the amount of dust is considered to be excessive and long term for example from a quarry site, dust monitoring equipment can be installed from both measurement and analysis.

Q. Why do sites not stop working during dry windy weather when it is really dusty?

A. For large sites subject to planning permission, Planning Conditions may be imposed to stop work during adverse weather conditions.

Q. Why is my car / window cills really dusty and where has it come from?

A. Everywhere has a normal background dust level.  Sometimes the dust in the atmosphere is carried long distances and is deposited for example in rainfall.

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