Dust Nuisance

Dust nuisance can be a major issue during construction and demolition work, resulting from activities such as excavation, burning, blasting and, in particular, vehicles using haul roads. Dust is also an issue at quarries, waste facilities, ports and other industrial sites. Typical operational sources include stack emissions, stockpiling and loading and unloading materials.

It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) for industrial, trade or business premises to cause nuisance to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood by generating dust. In cases where the council has received complaints, or has reason to believe that dust may be generated and nuisance is likely to occur, an investigation will be undertaken by our officers and if nuisance is considered to be occurring due to activities on site an Abatement Notice is likely be served.

Dust from domestic premises is not covered by Statutory Nuisance Legislation.

Many industrial processes such as the crushing of stone requires an Environmental Permit to operate.  Though these premises are exempt from nuisance legislation, if dust is leaving the boundary of the premises the conditions of the permit are likely to be breached. 

Methods to reduce the risk of causing 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
  • seeding 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

If you have any queries about dust nuisance, contact the Environmental Health & Licencing team on 01643 703704 or email customerservices@westsomerset.gov.uk.