Taken from Westside Rd. this is the dust kicked up by a single truck driving by on a gravel road. (Submitted)

Ministry proposing dust control plan for Westside Rd.

Dust from industrial operations in the area is a concern

Think it gets a little dusty on Westside Rd.? The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has a plan to manage that.

Available by request through the ministry, the plan is a product of a committee that started in 2015. It’s meant to identify, implement and monitor the application of best practices to help reduce fugitive and small particle dust related to the industrial activities in the area.

Westside Rd. is home to several gravel pits as well as the Revelstoke landfill.

READ MORE: Backlash continues as proposed gravel pit near Revelstoke granted temporary licence

According to the plan, the cumulative impacts of intense industrial activities in the area, including exposure to dust with respect to the environment and the public, have been identified as major issues.

To reduce the amount of dust generated on sites, the plan calls for:

  • enforcement of low speed limits
  • decontamination of trucks leaving work areas
  • height limits for debris, waste and stock piles

If conditions require increased dust suppression, best practice would be to add emulsifiers or surfacants to improve the wetability of water sprays. Paper mulch mixer with trackifier can be used on waste/debris stockpiles.

The plan requires mine site managers to ensure water sprays or other dust suppressions are used at every dusty place where work is carried out.

Other best management practices outlined in the plan include:

  • limit surface areas disturbed
  • limit work when wind is greater than 20 km/h
  • clean up spills immediately
  • grow ground cover
  • erect windbreaks
  • apply crust chemicals
  • pave roads
  • enclose storage areas
  • cover storage stockpiles
  • limit area access
  • cover leaving trucks by tarp
  • place crusher at bottom of pit
  • seed areas not being used with local forestry range mix

The plan places monitoring responsibilities on the users of the site, including two daily visual inspections and hourly inspections during excavation and loading operations in dry and windy weather.

Best practice would be for government inspectors to attend gravel pit operations twice a year to ensure compliance. If they are found to be non compliant a variety of penalties or actions can be taken depending on the infraction.

The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources is responsible for dust on a mine site and the Ministry of Environment is responsible for fugitive dust off the mine site.

Have feedback for the ministry? Submit your comments to:

Katherine Wagar, Regional Director, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, 202 100 N Cranbrook Street, Cranbrook, B.C., 250-417-6011 or by email at kathie.wagar@gov.bc.ca

For people who do not wish to send comments directly to Wagar, Stuart Andrews, a Revelstoke resident, will be preparing an appropriate response and reply to the ministry. He can be contacted at andrewss@telus.net



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