Construction Dust Control
Local contractors and developers must implement effective control measures and work strategies in order to avoid a notice of violation and fine. Though not required to have a dust-control plan in all situations, subcontractors must register and pay a fee. Additionally, subcontractors can be cited for violations of their own making. Developing a plan usually begins with a dust-control permit, which Maricopa County requires on all jobsites that will disturb more than a tenth of an acre.
To obtain a permit, a contractor must first submit a dust-control plan to Maricopa County approval. A dust-control plan involves the implementation of control measures before, during and after conducting any dust-generating operation. On sites larger than five acres, the permit holder must designate an employee responsible for dust-control plan compliance. Common control measures include watering, using wind barriers, maintaining and cleaning vehicles, chemically stabilizing the soil, and using track-out control devices. To develop a dust-control plan and contingency measures, contact Clint Dunaway at 480-344-4035 for a free consultation.
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) website offers current information on dust compliance — in particular, it’s very useful Dust Abatement Field Guide for the Construction Industry — and related applications/forms, rules/regulations and answers to frequently asked questions.
Once a dust-control plan has been formulated, it is the contractor’s responsibility to: read and understand the dust-control permit and plan and have them available at the jobsite; implement the dust-control plan and ensure that all employees, workers and subcontractors know their responsibilities; use contingency control measures when primary controls are ineffective; monitor the worksite for compliance with the dust-control plan; and keep a daily log monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the control measures.
While it is not officially required, contractor designation of a dust-control site coordinator has shown to be a sound and, for all practical purposes, necessary component of a dust-control plan. The site coordinator must have authority over dust issues, and he should have a fully trained backup to serve in his capacity during his absence.
The consequences of noncompliance are not limited to the fines discussed earlier. Any entity or person who violates the MCAQD rules may be subject to injunctive measures that bring all work to a halt. Further, violators may be subject to misdemeanor or felony charges. Moreover, if a contractor fails to comply, the owner or developer may also be held responsible for the violation.
Increased awareness and a commitment to developing and implementing a dust-control plan will go far to minimize the loss of time and money that can result from non-compliance.
This is a rapidly changing issue that requires contractors’ ongoing attention. To help contractors keep their primary focus on their business, attorney Clint Dunaway has developed resources that may prove useful to contractors in complying with Maricopa County’s mandate and in mitigating the financial penalties of non-compliance.
The consequences of noncompliance with dust requirements include fines and injunctive measures that may bring work to a halt. Further, in vary rare instances a violator may be subject to criminal charges. Furthermore, if a general contractor is in violation the project developer or property owner may be also held responsible for the violation.
The MCAQD increased the number of compliance inspectors and tightened the local air-quality rules. The construction industry fell under especially close scrutiny, and notices of violations and stiff fines were assessed against contractors whose projects were the source of excessive dust.
For more information or questions, please contact Clint Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (480)344-4035 for a free consultation.
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