Technical Papers

Dust Emissions Management Model for Construction Sites

Abstract

Fugitive dust emissions from active construction sites, without wind erosion and dust suppression controls, can be orders of magnitude higher than predevelopment background values. As the exact location, size, and timing of construction activities within a region are difficult to forecast, a new probabilistic dust emission management tool is proposed to understand better and control the factors influencing dust emissions on construction sites. The proposed construction-induced dust emission management (CIDEM) probabilistic model incorporates both the spatial and temporal variation of construction activities. A characterization of the construction phases provides the basis for more accurate dust emission calculations allowing cost-savings in the selection/sizing of the wind erosion and dust suppression control measures commonly used on construction sites, including watering, mulching, chemical dust suppressants, and revegetation. A best management practices (BMPs) cost-optimization is performed using a genetic algorithm to consider multiple nonlinear influencing factors. The benefits of this new CIDEM methodology were demonstrated on its application on the Lake Simcoe region, in Canada, including generating possible management policy statements based on dust emission risk assessment for issuing building permits for different site conditions.