Dust Management

Under the Environmental Protection (Unauthorised Discharges) Regulations 2004, a person who, in the course of or in connection with a business or a commercial activity causes or allows dust to be discharged into the environment commits an offence.

The Town’s Health Local Law 2016 requires owners and occupiers of land to take all reasonable steps to stabilise dust on the land; contain all liquid waste on the land; and ensure that no dust or liquid waste is released or escapes from the land. A Dust Management Plan (DMP) may be developed to ensure that the adversity to health and public nuisance caused by dust is minimised as far as is reasonably practicable.

A DMP details activities and strategies to ensure surveillance and control of dust emissions from land. The minimum components of a DMP are as follows:

1. Purpose

Include a detailed description of works including:

  • Company details and location of works (include a map) specify street addresses
  • A description of the activities to occur on site
  • Scope of the dust management plan
  • When works are scheduled to be completed (if applicable)
  • Commitment statement to ongoing dust management

2. Identification of key personnel

Include information regarding the main contacts of responsible personnel and their roles and responsibilities as it relates to the dust management plan.

3. Site-specific details

Provide site-specific details of likely sources of dust emissions including activities conducted and equipment used.

Common sources of dust include:

  • Unsealed surfaces
  • Vehicular movements
  • Drilling and blasting
  • Uncovered stockpiles of materials
  • Processing activities including crushing, materials transfer, stockpiling and loading
  • Transport movement

4. Dust management strategies

Provide a comprehensive description of dust management strategies to be utilised. It is mandatory that a combination of measures are implemented for greater effectiveness.

Descriptions ought to include:

  • The type of dust control strategy that is used e.g. dust suppression via watering
  • How the strategy will be performed, e.g. what equipment will be utilised e.g. 15,000L water truck
  • The frequency and duration of the control activity e.g. regular intervals during the day, every 4 hours
  • Contingency procedures for variable factors such as weather conditions e.g. more frequent watering on days were wind exceeds 20km/h

Dust control measures endorsed by the Department of Environment and Conservation can be found via this link.

A combination of strategies should be implemented that consider various levels of control:

  • Eliminating dust sources, treating dust at its point of generation
  • Substituting dust-generating sources with less dust-generating sources, where possible
  • Use well maintained equipment, cover loads, ensure appropriate ventilation and isolation from other areas
  • Provide appropriate dust management training to workers and limit vehicle movement and speed where possible
  • Provide workers with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

5. Dust monitoring

Although the use of dust monitoring devices is beneficial to ensure allowable thresholds are not exceeded, their utilisation is not mandatory. Where used however, readings ought to comply with concentrations specified by the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) for ambient air quality.


Averaging period

Maximum concentration standard


Particles as PM10

1 day


1 year

25 µg/m3


Particles as PM2.5

1 day

25 µg/m3

1 year

8 µg/m3


Particularly where dust monitoring devices are not used as a compliance tool, monitoring should be visually conducted with plumes of dust serving as an indication of insufficient/ inadequate dust control.

Consideration should also be given to background levels of dust, with all businesses required to fulfil their obligations so as to not affect the health or amenity of neighbouring properties.

Complaints management should form part of the dust monitoring process with a procedure developed and adopted by the owner or occupier.

It is recommended that a notice is erected at the site providing contact details of responsible persons should surrounding land occupiers have any enquiries or issues.

At a minimum, the complaints procedure should include the following details:

  • Date and time
  • Name and contact of person receiving and resolving the complaint
  • Name and contact number of the complainant
  • Nature of the complaint (details of per complainant)
  • Specific corrective actions taken
  • Date the matter is resolved and complainant contacted

Record keeping or reporting constitutes an important component of dust management. All details of complaints, inspections and audits should be recorded and kept on site for review.

6. Review

The dust management plan must be subject to at a minimum, annual review to ascertain its relevancy for ongoing management and allow for ongoing improvement.

For further information please contact the Town’s Environmental Health department on (08) 9158 9300.