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Dust Control Report – Minnesota DOT Research Services (TPD1402091)

Aggregate Roads DustControl

A Brief Synthesis of Current Practices

Primary Author: Michael Marti,

PE SRF Consulting Group

June 2013

Research Project Final Report # 2013RIC6.7

FINAL Report

Prepared by

Michael Marti

Renae Kuehl

SRF Consulting Group, Inc.

One Carlson Parkway North, Suite 150

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55447

June 2013

Published by:

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Minnesota Local Road Research Board

Research Services Section

395 John Ireland Boulevard, MS 330

St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-1899

This report represents the results of research conducted by the authors and does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Minnesota Department of Transportation and/or the Center for Transportation Studies. This report does not contain a standard or specified technique.


The authors and the Minnesota Department of Transportation and/or SRF Consulting Group, Inc. do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to this report.

Technical Report Documentation Page

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We wish to thank the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LLRB) and its Research Implementation Committee (RIC) for the financial support to make this important report a reality. The Technical Advisory Committee that steered this project was extremely helpful in identifying key issues and concerns related to dust control and the resources needed at the local level. They also were very generous with their time in attending meetings, reviewing and providing oversight for this final document.

The authors would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to this document:

Technical Advisory Committee

Rich Sanders, Polk County Chair

Eddie Johnson, MnDOT

Farideh Amiri, MnDOT Research Services

John Okeson, Becker County

Kathleen Schaefer, MnDOT

Mark Nahra, Woodbury County, Iowa

Thomas Wood, MnDOT

Tom Broadbent, Envirotech Services

Chapter 1: Introduction


More than 50 percent of U.S. roadways are gravel roads, making them a vital part of our transportation system. One of the drawbacks and biggest complaints about gravel roads is the dust that they produce when vehicles drive over them. Residents that live on gravel roads deal with the dust that settles on their homes, yards, and parked cars, potentially reducing their quality of life. Dust can also have adverse effects on air quality, crop yields and the environment and reduce the safety for drivers due to impaired vision. To control the dust on gravel roads, local agencies apply various dust suppressants on their roadways, mainly calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.  However, many other dust suppressant options exist.


The Minnesota LRRB has developed this document, Aggregate Roads Dust Control, A Brief Synthesis of Current Practices, to provide local agencies with a summary of research that has been completed on various dust suppressants, their effectiveness, and impacts. Results from two surveys that document dust suppressants that local agencies (within Minnesota and Iowa) use is included as well.


Chapter 2: Survey Results


To determine how local agencies are currently combating dust created by gravel roads, two online surveys were completed. The first was a short survey sent to local agencies nationwide to determine if they have a dust control program and what products they have used.  The second was a more in-depth survey that was sent to respondents of the first survey who indicated that they had a dust control program. This survey asked them to provide feedback (pros/cons) about the dust control products they have used. The following is a summary of the findings from each survey.


Survey #1

The first online survey was distributed locally to Minnesota county engineers (not cities) and nationally via Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) network in November of 2011. A total of 253 people completed the survey (72 from Minnesota and 181 nationwide). Note that the number of total responses per question decreases after the first question, as agencies that do not have a dust control program would not be able to respond to the remaining questions.


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Graph. 1. Do you currently have a dust control program?

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Graph. 2. Have you had a dust control program in the past?


Table. 3. If you no longer have a dust control program, why did you quit using it?

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Table. 4. Which of the following dust suppressants have you used?

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Other dust suppressants used:

  • 15,000 gallons/yr of calcium chloride brine and flakes.
  • Magnesium chloride specified as an alternative but never used.
  • Program called “Gravel Road Stabilization Program” water used during hauling operations on roads not treated as part of the county stabilization program. Calcium chloride brine and flakes used otherwise.
  • 30,000g of calcium chloride brine and flakes.
  • Soybean oil product (not successful).
  • Oil well brine.
  • MWS-150.
  • AEDP water base.
  • Oil well brine byproduct.
  • I don’t know. It was before my time.
  • We chip and seal our roads in front of any residence on the gravel road. We use MWS-150 and pea gravel.
  • None – water when doing construction.
  • 38% and 42% calcium chloride.
  • Rotomill/with a 50% gravel mixture.
  • The best products are the rotomill w/ 50% gravel and magnesium chloride.
  • Base 1 has been used some, not sure which clank that would be.
  • Soybean oil by product.
  • Calcium chloride pellets.


Survey #2

The second online survey was distributed on February 15th, 2012, to 47 people who indicated that they had a dust control program in the first survey. A total of 39 local agencies completed the survey. In addition, the survey was sent to local agencies in Iowa, via one of the TAP members.  A total of 29 local agencies in Iowa completed the survey.


Table. 1. How Many miles of gravel road do you maintain?

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Table. 2. How do you determine what segments of roadway to suppress dust on?

(check all that apply)

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Other determining factors:

•              Dust control treatment in front of residences on gravel-surfaced roads is initiated by resident upon payment of 50% of the cost of the treatment.

•              Save gravel material

•              Potential maintenance savings

•              Residents may apply at their choice and cost using third party applicators, we must give approval first to ensure road is shaped properly

•              Due to small mileage, once it was decided to apply to one road decision was made to do all roads.

•              We allow property owner to apply dust treatment at his cost after getting a permit from us.

•              Vendor deals directly with the landowner wanting dust control. Dust control is voluntary and up to individual landowners. Landowner pays vendor directly, so the county’s budget does not show these expenses. Vendor contacts us before the applications so we can prepare the roads for treatment.

•              Detour Routes, otherwise it is up to the resident to pay for their dust control.

•              Private dust control areas are permitted by the county and paid for by adjacent property owners. County only applies dust control on sections with threshold ADT and detour routes.

•              Maintenance gravel haul routes from county owned pits.

•              Homeowner solicits a contractor for placement of dust suppressant, county grades or places gravel on the segment prior to placement.

•              Most residents will contract it themselves.

•              Residents choose to pay for their own treatment. County pays $0 towards dust treatment unless excess traffic caused by county construction project

•              Agribusiness haul roads

•              Residents are allowed to hire an approved contractor and pay all costs themselves.

•              We do not suppress dust on our gravel roads

•              Through road agreements with quarries, commercial users, conditional use permits, subdivision restrictions

•              Property owners arrange and pay for application themselves- we just prep the roadway. We apply if using as haul road.

•              Placed on newly surfaced roads.

•              Health concerns

•              We suppress dust on all gravel roadways

•              By request only. Residents are charged all costs.

•              resident/ owner request

•              We do not place these products for dust control, rather we use them for gravel stabilization and increasing the useful life of gravel. We maintain gravel stabilized with chloride on roads with ADT’s of 100 vehicles per day.

•              We do not apply “dust suppressants” for dust control. We do it to stabilize the gravel surfacing of the road. Dust control is too objective of a criteria. One car can cause a dust problem for someone who lives close to a gravel road.

•              We coat all roads with 250 ADT or more and 300′ in front of any homes within 150′ of the road.

•              Maintenance costs

•              County Policy that we do not provide dust control for normal traffic. Dust control is required for all contract hauling operation on the gravel haul roads.

•              County pays if traffic is diverted from paved road to gravel road due to construction.

•              Locations of higher maintenance


Table. 3. How do you decide what dust suppressant to use? (check all that apply)

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Other determining factors:

•              Have always used calcium chloride based on research of performance and cost of alternative treatment types.

•              Resident’s choice from approved list.

•              Talked to counties with past experience.

•              The property owner decides which company they want to use. We allow only approved dust treatment companies. Right now we allow calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and tree sap.

•              Homeowners experience with product or contractor.

•              Private landowners purchase the material and have it applied. Landowners determine what type of material they would like to use.

•              We use calcium chloride as the county program for construction of rock base and for rock roads with 200 vehicles per day by DOT traffic survey. We use seal coat for rock roads with 400 vpd or higher.

•              Have used calcium chloride and magnesium chloride in the past. Calcium chloride has usually been cheaper and has been selected most seasons.

•              We currently decide between using calcium chloride or magnesium chloride depending on the cost.

•              We use calcium chloride.

•              The material used for dust control depends on the roadway condition, the amount of traffic and the length of time the hauling operations will be conducted.


Table. 4. Is there a resource that you have been using for guidance on? (check all that apply)

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Other resources:

•              MnDOT specifications

•              Talking with other counties.

•              We simply make every effort to allow only environmentally accepted products.

•              Vendor chooses dust suppressant, landowner pays vendor.

•              Past experience we have had with several materials.

•              We operate from a dust control policy.

•              Low bid

•              Other County Experience

•              Dow chemical has several brochures on application guidelines, storage and handling of CaCl.


5. Please select a dust suppressant that you use regularly and provide input on the attributes, limitations, application rate and frequency, environmental impacts, application tips, effectiveness and cost, based on your personal experience.


Twenty respondents provided the information listed above for various dust suppressants.

The table on the following pages documents all of the responses received. Note that information that the TAP felt should be highlighted is listed in bold text within the table.


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Graph. 6. Do you have specifications for applying dust suppressants?

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Table. 7. What are your specifications for the following categories?

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Graph. 8. Do you know of other agencies or vendors that have specifications for dust control products?

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Listed product and agency/vendor:

  • Marshall County
  • Other countries.
  • Calcium Chloride – Jerico Services Indianola, IA
  • CaC12 industry.
  • Envirotech (purchased Dustcoating Inc.)
  • Clay County has similar specifications to Beltrami’s. Hubbard County and Cass County also use MgCl/CaCl alternate bidding but use different application rates.
  • MN/DOT.
  • Hubbard County/Cass County.
  • Goodhue County, Olmsted County, and Mower County.
  • Many agencies appear to have specifications.


9. Are there other products out there that you haven’t used but would like to know more about? Please list.

  • Base One & Permazyme
  • Ehtanol production byproduct syrup.
  • Anything that is available would be nice to know more about.
  • We have heard about a product the vendor called glycerin, which is a soy based sugar product.
  • TEAM Dust control.
  • Mag Chloride and Calcium Chloride.
  • Alternatives to chlorides that could be manufactured locally.
  • We have some experience with lignon products through our private dust control permit process. With ethanol production, this product may prove to be more cost effective. Quality control and effectiveness appear to be of interest with this product if it is to be used for county funded programs.
  • Beet derivative products.
  • All options. I’m interested in Benefits vs. Cost.
  • Anything that is cheaper than liquid CaCl.
  • Magnesium chloride.
  • A cost effective non-chloride product with comparable results.
  • The general year to year updating of products.


10. What knowledge have you gained through your experience with dust control that should be shared with other agencies?

  • Having a 50% cost share program seems to be a good way to keep dust control costs under control, yet provide the service for those who want it. Has been an effective tool to deal with nuisance dust complaints that we get, especially during dry periods.
  • It can also reduce blading, hold the road together longer, and prevents washboards.
  • Should be using a modified class 5 gravel with the 200 passing being 8 to 10 %.
  • The public feels that once the dust control is applied, they own that section of roadway; people need to understand that the investment they make in dust control has no implied or guaranteed life.
  • Our experience seems to indicate that higher gravel binder content provides for a longer lasting benefit from the application.
  • We had persons apply cooking grease (French fry grease); this is no longer allowed because of a number of problems experienced.
  • The pros and cons from the spreadsheet provided pretty much mirror our uses.
  • None of it lasts as long as advertised. Weather and traffic are deciding factors.
  • Effectiveness of the dust control depends greatly upon the characteristics of the soil type and amount of clay, and the fines type and percent in the road surface material, i.e. limestone or gravel.
  • The term dust control is a misnomer. A better term would be dust suppressant. The point here is that many new rural residents associate dust control with not having any dust. The real fact, in my experience, is that you have less dust with treatment than you would without it. Ever wonder why the old timers set their houses back so far from the rock road? It wasn’t just to have a lot to graze sheep!
  • The competitive market does not really exist with chloride products. Envirotech supplies most of the local contractors, which does not help in controlling the material cost very well.
  • We have allowed through permit several products to be applied as dust control, including: ground asphalt shingle, soy oil, lignon, magnesium chloride, and various mixtures of liquid asphalt. It is clear that success is possible with proper preparation and placement for all these products and with realistic expectations. Allowing choice and protecting the public through permitting and contractor responsibility has provided affordable and effective dust control along rock roads with very low traffic volumes.
  • Some types of material attract moisture while some products tend to encapsulate the surface material.
  • Personally, I am just starting as Maintenance Engineer, but through the years the department has pretty much singled in on calcium chloride as our preferred method of dust control.
  • We were a participant in a LRRB study completed a few years ago.
  • The County facilitated providing dust control to residents. I determined this was an inefficient use of county resources, since a majority of the sites were not on the 151 miles of county granular surfaced roads, but rather on the 512 total miles of local township roads. Residents now work directly with their local township officials to arrange for dust control. Local control is better.
  • It is our opinion that magnesium chloride and calcium chloride both perform similarly well. If you didn’t test side-by-side you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
  • For our area of the State CaCl and MgCl perform equally when applied as specified. The life cycle is very dependent of what the summer season gives you with respect to rainfall. The past two years we have not applied a second application due to timely rainfall events.
  • Better results with history of application; better results when surface material is not too dry or too wet; blading or maintaining the surface after application shortens life; higher traffic volumes shortens life
  • The CaCl used for dust control and the CaCl used for prewetting for ice control have different percentages of concentration and substantially different freezing points. Don’t try to use any leftover 38% CaCl for ice control.
  • Limit the application amount, for products other than water, to what works instead of over applying. If more is needed, use another application. Most residents want it done for aesthetics – quality of life, but it’s also important to provide visibility for safety.
  • Realizing that the dryer and sandier the material is the less benefit you get out of dust suppressants.
  • Program has been turned over to independent contractors. This has worked well.


11. Are there questions about dust control that you are seeking more information about?

  • We are interested in how many counties used dust control and what they budget every year. Will this be an area to be cut or at least reduced due to budget issues?
  • Is there anything as effective and as inexpensive as CaCl or MgCl?
  • TEAM laboratories.
  • What is the best dust control measure for a low plastic, silt or clay material?
  • Looking for alternatives (competition) to chlorides that would be proven to be just as effective.
  • Additional products present themselves periodically. Getting base information concerning spread rate and effectiveness assists in evaluating proposals. Comparison of effectiveness at various application rates for the various products would help. Having some standard of comparison for dust suppression would make discussion with suppliers more reasonable.
  • For the past two years we have only received a bid from one vendor. Is there other competition out there?
  • Optimum application rates.
  • Need verification on what the appropriate application rates for MgCl and CaCl should be to correctly compare in alternate bidding. At their common given solutions, what is the proper application rate for MgCl to have the same effectiveness of an application of CaCl? Some Counties (Hubbard and Cass) are using the same application rates for each Chloride. Others (Beltrami and Clay) are using different application rates for each Chloride.
  • How many agencies apply dust control as a means of saving on gravel loss as opposed to just applying in front of homes? In other words, can the cost of applying CaCl over the entire road (not just in front of homes) be justified by the amount of gravel savings?
  • Are there road authorities that are applying dust control nearly system wide due to benefits from reduced maintenance costs (i.e. reduced maintenance blading, reduced quantity of maintenance gravel)? Would they have cost/benefit information available to share?


National Survey

An additional survey was conducted by the Federal Highway Administration for dust control at a national level. This report documents survey results regarding the state of the practice of using chemical treatments on unpaved roads. It provides insights into road manager choices and challenges and is useful supplementary reading to the accompanying Unpaved Road Dust Management, A Successful Practitioner’s Handbook by Jones et al. (2013). A summary and the findings of this survey can be accessed at the link below. Upon reviewing the national survey results, it was found that there is a lot of “user” information/experience within this national survey that parallels information provided in the Minnesota survey. Example findings are included in the summary below.


Unpaved Road Chemical Treatments, State of the Practice Survey

Author(s): Kociolek

Publication Yr: 2013

Agency: Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Lakewood, CO, U.S.A.

Publication No: FHWA-CFL/TD-13-002

Website: http://www.cflhd.gov/programs/techDevelopment/materials/DustSurvey/documents/UnpavedRoadChemicalTreatmentsStateOfThePracticeSurvey.pdf

Summary: This report documents survey results regarding the state of the practice of using chemical treatments on unpaved roads. It provides insights into road manager choices and challenges and is useful supplementary reading to the accompanying Unpaved Road Dust Management, A Successful Practitioner’s Handbook by Jones et al. (2013). Roughly 80% of the survey respondents used chemical treatments for six or more years. Ninety eight percent (98%) of those indicated it was to control (fugitive road) dust, in part, to comply with federal regulations, for human and livestock health, in response to public complaints, or as a courtesy to the public. Other top reasons were to reduce maintenance costs and extend grader maintenance intervals. The most common treatment method was spray-on surface application with the top three chemical treatments being magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and lignin sulfonate, respectively.

Findings: The following information and graphs are examples of some of the findings from the national survey:

Most respondents (73%; n = 274) indicated their agency uses chemical treatments on unpaved roads for dust control, soil stabilization, reduced maintenance, etc. Twenty five percent (25%) indicated their agency does not use chemical treatments and 2% did not know whether or not their agency uses chemical treatments on unpaved roads.(Page 16)


Figure 9. Graph. Rationale for using chemical treatments on unpaved roads. Respondents were asked to check all that apply. (n=164)

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Figure 10. Graph. Methods by which agencies apply chemicals. Respondents were asked to check all that apply. (n=164)

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Figure 11. Graph. Use of chemical treatment by application method. Parenthesized number refers to the total number of respondents per treatment type regardless of application method. Respondents were asked to check all that apply. (n=161)

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Figure 13. Graph. Rationale for choosing their agency’s most commonly used chemical treatment. Respondents were asked to check all that apply. (n=156)

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Chapter 3: Resources

A literature search was completed to identify resources that could assist local agencies in determining the best dust suppressants to use on their roadways, effectiveness, and impacts. Three resources that were found to be the most helpful are listed below. The Unpaved Road Dust Management, A Successful Practitioner’s Handbook was recently released (May 2013) and is based on a scan tour conducted to observe real-world dust control issues. The Unpaved Road Chemical Treatments, State of the Practice Survey is an accompanying document to the guidebook mentioned above and was also referenced in the survey section above. The last resource, Dust Palliative Selection and Application Guide, includes a detailed table starting on page 9 of the report, which lists the various dust suppressant categories as well as the attributes, limitations, application, origin, and environmental impacts of each. This resource was developed in 1999, but it is still considered accurate by industry experts. At the time this report was published, the author of the Dust Palliative Selection and Application Guide indicated that an updated version may be available in the future.


Unpaved Road Dust Management, A Successful Practitioner’s Handbook

Author(s): Jones; David, Kociolek; Angela, Surdahl; Roger, Bolander; Peter, Drewes; Bruce, Duran; Matthew, Fay; Laura, Huntington; George, James; David, Milne; Clark, Nahra; Mark, Scott; Andrew, Vitale; Bob, and Williams; Bethany

Publication Yr: 2013

Agency: Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Lakewood, CO

Publication No: FHWA-CFL/TD-13-001

Website: http://www.cflhd.gov/programs/techDevelopment/materials/Handbook/documents/UnpavedRoad DustManagementASuccessfulPractitionersHandbook.pdf


This handbook provides broad programmatic aspects of unpaved road management. It is based on observations made during a national scan tour and provides useful and insightful excerpts of real world examples and includes practical how-to instructions for determining what type of treatment may be needed for different situations. It ultimately strives to encourage road managers to think broadly about the process of unpaved road management rather than just focusing on a specific type of chemical treatment.


Unpaved Road Chemical Treatments, State of the Practice Survey

Author(s): Kociolek

Publication Yr: 2013

Agency: Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division, Lakewood, CO

Publication No: FHWA-CFL/TD-13-002

Website: http://www.cflhd.gov/programs/techDevelopment/materials/DustSurvey/documents/UnpavedRoad ChemicalTreatmentsStateOfThePracticeSurvey.pdf


This report documents survey results regarding the state of the practice of using chemical treatments on unpaved roads. It provides insights into road manager choices and challenges and is useful supplementary reading to the accompanying Unpaved Road Dust Management, A Successful Practitioner’s Handbook by Jones et al. (2013). Roughly 80% of the survey respondents used chemical treatments for six or more years. Ninety eight percent (98%) of those indicated it was to control (fugitive road) dust, in part, to comply with federal regulations, for human and livestock health, in response to public complaints, or as a courtesy to the public. Other top reasons were to reduce maintenance costs and extend grader maintenance intervals. The most common treatment method was spray-on surface application with the top three chemical treatments being magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and lignin sulfonate, respectively.


Dust Palliative Selection and Application Guide

Author(s): Bolander, Peter; Yamada, Alan

Publication Yr: 1999

Agency: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Publication No: 9977 1207—SDTDC

Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/pdfs/Dust_Palliative.pdf


The purpose of this publication is to help practitioners understand and correctly choose and apply the dust palliative that is appropriate for their particular site, traffic conditions, and climate. In addition, this publication describes the expected performance, limitations, and potential environmental impacts of various palliatives. This guide examines most of the commonly available dust palliatives currently available and does not endorse any particular product. Since new products will become available and existing products will most likely change following publication of this report, it is recommended that this guide be used as a starting point for determining which palliative would be most appropriate for a given situation.


Additional resources to consider:

A significant amount of research has been completed on dust control, and it was a challenge to identify what resources were the best. The following list includes frequently used resources available at the time that this report was published. The resources below are listed alphabetically by the last name of the author.


Road Dust Suppression: Effect on Maintenance Stability, Safety and the Environment (Phases 1–3)

Author(s): Addo, Jonathan Q., Thomas G. Sanders, Melanie Chenard

Publication Yr: 2004

Agency: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.

Publication No: N/A

Website: http://www.mountain-plains.org/pubs/pdf/MPC04-156.pdf


This report describes research conducted at Colorado State University to evaluate the effect of road dust suppression on unpaved road maintenance schemes. A field-based method was used to measure the effect of road soil physical characteristics on the effectiveness of some of the commonly used dust suppressants. The study also evaluated the stabilization of unpaved road base material because of the use of dust suppression. The effect of dust suppression on safety and driving conditions on unpaved roads was examined. The chloride compounds and ligninsulfonate commonly used as dust suppressants are water-soluble and can be leached into the environment. They contain chlorides, heavy metals, and organic compounds that are regulated. Their potential to have adverse environmental impact was examined.


Environmental Effects of Dust Suppressant Chemicals on Roadside Plant and Animal Communities (research in progress)

Author(s): Calfee, Robin; Finger, Susan; Little, Ed; Williams, Bethany

Publication Yr: Future- 2014

Agency: USGS- US Geological Survey

Publication No: N/A

Website: http://www.cerc.usgs.gov/Projects.html?ProjectId=77


Over 25% of the roads in the United States are unpaved, and frequently result in dusty conditions. Road dusts pose a safety hazard for drivers, and health hazards for people living near such roads. In addition, such roads cause environmental impacts ranging from erosion to contamination of biota. A variety of substances are used in dust suppression. The impact of such chemicals is not well documented for the variety of terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals that can potentially be exposed during application and from run-off and erosion. The persistence of toxicity will be determined for selected dust suppressant agents. The data will provide Road Maintenance Managers scientifically based information with which to make informed decisions regarding selection and used of suppressant chemicals.


Dust Control Guidance and Technology Selection Key

Author(s): Gebhart, R.L.; Denight, M.L.; Grau, R.H.

Publication Yr: 1999

Agency: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, Champaign, IL, U.S.A.

Publication No: USACERL Report 99/21

Website: http://aec.army.mil/usaec/technology/dustbooklet.pdf


Although considerable research has been conducted by the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, product manufacturers, and other Federal and State agencies concerning dust control, results from this body of work have been published in a number of diverse and obscure documents that are largely unavailable or inaccessible to Army environmental, safety, public works, and natural resources managers. This lack of readily available information limits the ability of Army environmental, safety, public works, and natural resources managers to make informed, cost effective decisions regarding the selection and application of appropriate dust control products with proven performance characteristics and maintenance requirements. The objective of this work was to produce a sample to use guidance document for dust control on roads, trails, and landing strips which summarizes, to the greatest extent possible, results from previous research that has experimentally documented (1) research site characteristics, (2) chemical composition of dust control products tested, (3) application rates and techniques, and (4) performance, durability, cost, and maintenance requirements. Summarized data was subsequently used to develop a dichotomous key that allows the user to select the most appropriate/environmentally acceptable dust control product based on site specific information such as climate, underlying soil types and textures, trafficked surface and aggregate material characteristics, vehicle type, anticipated traffic volumes, and length of service required.


Dust Control on Unpaved Roads

Author(s): Han; Chunhua, PhD

Publication Yr: 1992

Agency: Minnesota Local Road Research Board, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Publication No: 1992-07

Website: Not available online – contact the LRRB for a copy http://www.lrrb.org/contact-us


This report summarizes dust control procedures used by various states and local agencies for unpaved roads. The research results related to dust control are also outlined. The report starts with a brief introduction on dust problems associated with unpaved roads and three main dust control methods: chemical, mechanical, and administrative. Preliminary concepts and background of a temporary surface treatment for dust control are presented. The relative effectiveness of a dust control program is estimated based on traffic levels, road conditions, and the climate. The report discusses various materials used in dust control, selection of a proper dust


Gravel Road Management: Implementation and Programming Guide

Author(s): Huntington, G. and Ksaibati, K.

Publication Yr: 2010

Agency: Wyoming Technology Transfer Center, Laramie, WY, U.S.A

Publication No:

FHWA-WY-10/03F Volume 1

FHWA-WY-10/0 3oF V lume 2

FHWA-WY-10/0 o3F V lume 3

Website: http://wwweng.uwyo.edu/wyt2/Gravel%20Roads/OCT_2011_Gravel_Roads_Management_FINAL_REPORT_Oct2010[1].pdf




Volume 1

This section outlines the Background, Problem Statement, Objectives, Report Organization, Analytical Methods, and Summary and Conclusions.

Volume 2

This section is designed to assist local road and street departments with implementation or improvement of a gravel roads management system. It is written primarily for road managers tasked with acquiring the necessary information to develop an information systems process.

Volume 3

This section is intended to assist programmers and database managers with programming the information needed to implement a gravel roads management system.


Testing of Dust Suppressants for Water Quality Impacts

Author(s): Irwin, K.; Hall, F.; Kemner, W.; Beighley, E.; Husby, P.

Publication Yr: 2008

Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.

Publication No: N/A

Website: http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/dust/DustSuppressants-sept2008.pdf


The purpose of this research was to identify dust suppressant products with minimal to no adverse impacts on water quality and aquatic life relative to use of water alone. Simulated stormwater runoff from small-scale soil plots treated with six dust suppressant products was evaluated for water quality and aquatic toxicity. The study also evaluated the quality of water leached through soils treated with dust suppressant products.


Best Practices for Dust Control on Aggregate Roads

Author(s): Olson, Roger; Johnson, Eddie

Publication Yr: 2009

Agency: Minnesota Local Road Research Board, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Publication No: 2009-04

Website: Full report: http://www.lrrb.org/pdf/200904.pdf Technical Summary of report: http://www.lrrb.org/media/reports/200904TS.pdf


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of several common dust control products when applied to a variety of gravel surface roads at various schedules. The findings of this study would be used to better control the dust on rural roads and reduce the number of calls for service, particularly from residents moving to the country from the city who have higher expectations for dust-free roads.


Dust Control Field Handbook: Standard Practices for Mitigating Dust on Helipads, Lines of Communication, Airfields, and Base Camps.

Author(s): Rushing, J.; Tingle, J.

Publication Yr: 2006

Agency: US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS, U.S.A.

Publication No: ERDC/GSL SR-06-7

Website: /reference-library/tpd0610007-dust-control-field-handbook.html


The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center has evaluated potential chemical dust palliatives for mitigating fugitive dust in military operations. The products were compared in laboratory testing and several field trials. The results of these efforts are compiled in this document to provide assistance for selecting and applying chemical dust palliatives for use on helipads, roads, airfields, and base camps. This document summarizes recommendations and conclusions derived from individual research projects. The information is intended to serve as a guide for acceptable dust mitigation. Variations of the procedures documented may be necessary to meet specific requirements.


Gravel Roads: Maintenance and Design Manual

Author(s): Selim, Ali; Skorseth, Ken

Publication Yr: 2000

Agency: U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Publication No: N/A

Website: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/gravelroads_index.cfm


The purpose of this manual is to provide clear and helpful information for maintaining gravel roads. Very little technical help is available to small agencies that are responsible for managing these roads. Gravel road maintenance has traditionally been “more of an art than a science” and very few formal standards exist. This manual contains guidelines to help answer the questions that arise concerning gravel road maintenance such as: What is enough surface crown? What is too much? What causes corrugation? The manual is designed for the benefit of elected officials, managers, and grader operators who are responsible for designing and maintaining gravel roads. The information is as nontechnical as possible without sacrificing clear guidelines and instructions on how to do the job right. The manual is presented in the following sections: (I) Routine Maintenance and Rehabilitation; (II) Drainage; (III) Surface Gravel; (IV) Dust Control/Stabilization; and (V) Innovations. Numerous photographs accompany the text and an index is provided.


Guidelines for Cost Effective Use and Application of Dust Palliatives

Author(s): Smith, G.A.; Makowichuk, P.B.; Carter, D.J.E.

Publication Yr: 1987

Agency: Transportation Association of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Publication No: N/A

Website: N/A

Summary: Dust palliatives are used extensively in all provinces and territories of Canada to control dust problems on local road networks and thus improve visibility and safety. The objectives of this study were to: 1) identify existing dust palliatives in use in Canada, 2) identify conditions which warrant the use of dust palliatives and develop performance evaluation measures, 3) quantify the costs and benefits, 4) determine application procedures, 5) identify known environmental risks, and 5) establish guidelines for use and application. Canadian experience with dust palliatives is summarized based on a questionnaire survey of road agencies across the country. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research in the area of dust control. (TRRL)


Environmental Evaluation of Dust Stabilizer Products

Author(s): Steevens, J.; Suedel, B.; Gibson, A.; Kennedy, A.; Blackburn, W.; Splichal, D.; Pierce, J.T.

Publication Yr: 2007

Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS

Publication No: ERDC/EL TR-07-13

Website: http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/elpubs/pdf/trel07-13.pdf


Personnel of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC and Navy Environmental Health Center (NEHC) evaluated the environmental fate and effects of six commercially available dust stabilizer products. As part of the evaluation, a relative risk comparison was made of the six materials to other materials that have been used historically to control dusts (i.e., diesel, crude oil, fuel oil). Data for this evaluation were obtained primarily through literature review, communication with the manufacturers of the products, and through some limited analytical chemistry. Data gaps and uncertainties were also identified and described. Conclusions were derived from the results of the evaluation, with each stabilizer group presented separately along with general conclusions applicable to all stabilizers studied.


Alaska Rural Dust Control Alternatives

Author(s): Withycombe, Earl; Dulla, Robert

Publication Yr: 2006

Agency: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Juneau, AK, U.S.A.

Publication No: SR2006-03-03

Website: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/anpms/Dust/Dust_docs/DustControl_Report_032006.pdf


Air quality monitoring data collected in several rural Alaska communities over the past few years reveal elevated levels of fine particulate matter smaller than 10 microns in diameter (PM10). The high readings are coupled with complaints of heavy dust conditions reported to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) from residents of these communities together with anecdotal information from local hospitals of increases in health problems and visits during these periods. Review of information collected from emission inventories and interviews of rural community residents has led ADEC to conclude that unpaved road use is a significant contributor to elevated PM10 levels in these communities. ADEC is interested in evaluating alternative methods for control of dust emissions from unpaved road use to assist the communities in air quality improvement. ADEC also believes that control measures that reduce emissions from unpaved road use will also reduce emissions from unpaved airfield use and from windblown dust emissions from these surfaces. ADEC has requested that a study be conducted of these control measures that would (1) Develop a matrix of feasible dust control strategies for reducing road and airport dust emissions (2) Identify costs and benefits of various dust control materials and strategies; and (3) Identify and prioritize needs for identifying, selecting, and implementing effective, economic, and environmentally sound dust control measures. For this study, Sierra performed a literature search on dust control from unpaved roads and collected specific data relative to dust problems in two rural Alaska communities and promising dust control measures.


Potential Environmental Impacts of Dust Suppressants: “Avoiding Another Times Beach”: An Expert Panel Summary.

Author(s): N/A

Publication Yr: 2004

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Publication No: EPA/600/R-04/031

Website: http://www.epa.gov/esd/cmb/pdf/dust.pdf


The purpose of this report is to summarize the current state of knowledge on the potential environmental impacts of chemical dust suppressants. Furthermore, the report summarizes the views of an Expert Panel that was convened on May 30-31, 2002 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to probe into the potential environmental issues associated with the use of dust suppressants.


Guidelines for Geometric Design of Very Low-Volume Local Roads (ADT ≤ 400), 1st Edition.

Author(s): N/A

Publication Yr: 2001

Agency: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Washington, DC, U.S.A. Publication No: N/A

Website: Not available online – can be purchased at https://bookstore.transportation.org/item_details.html?id=157


These guidelines address the unique design issues highway designers and engineers face when determining appropriate cost-effective geometric design policies for very low-volume local roads. This approach covers both new and existing construction projects. Because geometric design guidance for very low-volume local roads differs from the policies applied to highvolume roads, these guidelines may be used in lieu of A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, also known as “The Green Book.” Design values are presented in both metric and U.S. customary units.

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