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A summary of the national dust control regulations

Posted on: 12 July 2016

The national environmental management: air quality act, 2004 dust control regulations New Dust Control Regulations were released in November 2013. This was released with the purpose of prescribing general measures for the control of dust in all areas. In the sections below the main aspects of the regulations will be discussed.

Dust fallout standard

There are two standards, one for a residential area and one for a non-residential area. Table 1 below shows the acceptable dust fall rates. In the dust control regulations National Dust Control Regs it specifies that the method for measuring dust fall rate is the ASTM D1739: 1970, or equivalent method.

Table 1: Acceptable dust fall rates

Restriction areas Dustfall rate (D) (mg/m²/day, 30day average) Permitted frequency of exceeding dust fall rate
Residential area D < 600 Two within a year, not sequential months
Non-residential area 600 < D < 1200 Two within a year, not sequential months

Dustfall monitoring programme

A dust monitoring programme must include the establishment of a network of ASTM D1739: 1970 compliant monitoring points, sufficient enough to monitor the dustfall in the vicinity of the premises and to monitor likely sensitive receptors to establish a baseline dustfall for the district.

The local air quality officer will request a dust monitoring programme if they suspect that the standards are being exceeded, or if the person requires a fugitive emissions management plan according to section 21 of the Act.

Dust fallout monitoring report

A dust fallout monitoring report should include the following:

  1. The locations of the sampling sites including coordinates and a topographical map.
  2. Classifications of the samplers including identification of sensitive receptors.
  3. Reference to the standard methods used for site selection, sampling and analysis, and any methods/laboratory accreditation if applicable.
  4. Dustfall results including a comparison to the current year and historical in a tabular summary showing the compliance.
  5. Meteorological data including wind speed, wind direction and rainfall for the sampling area.
  6. Any other relevant data that may influence the data.

Measure for the control of dust

Any person that exceeds the dustfall standards should, within three months after submitting the dustfall monitoring report, develop and submit a dust management plan to the air quality officer for approval.

This dust management plan will identify all the sources of dust in the area, outline the best methods to mitigate dust emissions, detail the schedule and responsible personnel, incorporate the dustfall monitoring plan and establish a register of complaints. This plan should be implemented within a month of approval and should be submitted on agreed time intervals.

Ambient air quality monitoring for PM10

If there are non-compliances, the air quality officer may require any person to undertake ambient air quality monitoring for PM10 in accordance with notice published in terms of section 9 of the air quality act.

Offenses and penalties

A person is guilty of an offense if they fail to comply with the dustfall standards, fail to implement a dustfall programme, and fail to submit a dustfall monitoring report or fail to submit this to the local air quality officer.

A person convicted for the penalties as described above is liable in the case of a first offense to a fine of no more than 5 million rand or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. If it is the second case the fine can be no more than 10 million rand and no more than 10 years imprisonment.

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