Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Natural and Historic Resources
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board
Petition 97
Petition Information
Petition Title Fugitive Dust Emissions - Chapter 50
Date Filed 11/20/2009    [Transmittal Sheet]
Petitioner Appalachia Mountain Stewards and Sierra Club 
Petitioner's Request


The Southern Appalachia Mountain Stewards and the Sierra Club have petitioned the State Air Pollution Control Board to amend the fugitive dust emissions standards for existing and new and modified stationary sources. The petitioners have requested that additional language be added to the fugitive dust standards to clarify what is meant by "reasonable precautions" and that the fugitive dust standard provide additional examples of reasonable precautions specific to the type of activities that contributed to the documented dust problem in Roda. Further, the petitioners state that the proposed amendments would strengthen and clarify the fugitive dust standard without imposing significant burdens on regulators or on the facilities subject to the regulations.
The specific requested amendments are identical for both chapters 40 and 50. The full text follows and are the addition of the 2nd sentence in the first paragraph and the addition of numbered items 6, 7 and 8:
No owner or other person shall cause or permit any materials or property to be handled, transported, stored, used, constructed, altered, repaired or demolished without taking reasonable precautions to prevent particulate matter from becoming airborne. In determining what is reasonable, consideration will be given to factors such as the proximity of dust emitting operations to human habitations and/or activities, and to atmospheric conditions which might affect the movement of particulate matter. Such reasonable precautions may include, but are not limited, to the following:
1. Use, where possible, of water or chemicals for control of dust in the demolition of existing buildings or structures, construction operations, the grading of roads or the clearing of land;
2. Application of asphalt, water, or suitable chemicals on dirt roads, materials stockpiles and other surfaces which may create airborne dust; the paving of roadways and the maintaining of them in a clean condition;
3. Installation and use of hoods, fans and fabric filters to enclose and vent the handling of dusty materials. Adequate containment methods shall be employed during sandblasting or other similar operations;
4. Open equipment for conveying or transporting materials likely to create objectionable air pollution when airborne shall be covered, or treated in an equally effective manner at all times when in motion;
5. The prompt removal of spilled or tracked dirt or other materials from paved streets and of dried sediments resulting from soil erosion; and
6. The use of water to wash the wheels, undercarriage, and other parts of every vehicle that hauls coal or other materials before or immediately after the vehicle leaves a dusty, dirty, or muddy surface, including but not limited to haul roads at a mining or processing facility;
7. Cleaning the empty bed and/or any other part of a vehicle that had recent contact with material capable of emitting dust; and
8. Installation and use of rumble strips, speed bumps, or other devices designed to reduce vehicle speed and to dislodge mud and other materials from tires and vehicle bodies before vehicles enter public roads.
Agency's Plan

Receive comments on the petition for 21 days and present petition and comments to State Air Pollution Control Board for a decision on whether or not to intiate a rulemaking.

Comment Period Began 12/21/2009    Ended 2/10/2010
Agency Decision Take no action [Transmittal Sheet]    
Response Date 4/20/2011
Decision Publication Date Published on: 5/9/2011     Volume: 27  Issue: 18
Agency Decision Summary
Based on the Board book material, staff presentation, public comments and Board discussions, the Board, on a motion by Mr. Rives, unanimously voted to deny the petition for rulemaking and requested that the Director, or his designee, issue a guidance document regarding fugitive dust generated by coal mining, processing, handling or transportation activities that incorporates the following concepts:
1.    Notes the lead role of the Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy and the existence of the Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy/Department of Environmental Quality Memorandum of Agreement.
2.    That, if in the opinion of the Department of Environmental Quality reasonable precautions were not being taken and the resulting conditions cause or contribute to the endangerment of human health and the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy does not take enforcement action, the Department of Environmental Quality would consider doing so pursuant to the existing regulations.
3.    That, when determining appropriate reasonable precautions, the Department of Environmental Quality will consider the potential impact on human health, i.e., proximity of the fugitive dust release to human habitation and activities.
4.    That reasonable precautions to minimize the amount of coal dust and other dust becoming airborne may include washing down loaded trucks before they leave the mine and rinsing out the beds of emptied trucks and installation of rumble strips or similar devices to remove material from wheels and undercarriages before leaving a permitted site.
5.    That street sweeping or other measures to remove accumulated fugitive dust from public roadways may also be a reasonable precaution when necessary to prevent the dust from becoming airborne or re-entrained into the atmosphere. 

Contact Information
Name / Title: Karen G. Sabasteanski 
Address: 629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)698-4426    FAX: (804)698-4510    TDD: ()-