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Fact Sheet - Dust Control On Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)

Fact Sheet - Dust Control On Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)

Unpaved Road


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering assistance by encouraging California growers to use new and innovative agricultural emission reduction practices and technologies that provide significant environmental benefits to our natural resources.

Unpaved roads and traffic areas can be significant sources of visible dust and particulate matter emissions (PM10 and PM2.5) caused by vehicular traffic. Emission reductions are achieved by stabilizing the unpaved surfaces through the application of dust suppressants. A variety of dust suppressants are available and generally classified as water, hygroscopic (road salts), petroleum emulsion resins, polymers, surfactants, bituminous materials (road oils and asphaltic materials), adhesives, and solid materials (petroleum by-products and soils). Other materials include vegetative materials (wood chips) and aggregates (gravel). Effective management practices can also reduce emissions, such as reducing vehicle speed or restricting traffic on unpaved roads.

Though this practice, payments are offered to apply dust suppressants that have demonstrated 50 percent or more PM10 control for at least one year after application. These suppressants are SC250 (SC800 on alkali soils) road oil, Lignosulfonate, petroleum emulsions, or polymer emulsions.

Program Guidelines - 373 - Dust Reduction on Unpaved Farm Roads and Equipment Yards

Program Specifics

California growers must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for payments.

  • Unpaved surfaces should be graded and free of any potholes and imperfections. If possible, incorporate a crown.
  • The dust suppressant shall be applied per manufacturer’s specifications.
  • No dust suppressant shall be applied that will impact waterways. The participant must select dust suppressant products approved or certified to the appropriate and safe use for ground application.
  • It may be necessary to restrict vehicle traffic on the treated surface unit the dust suppressant has cured. Please follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Two year contracts are required.
  • Payments for treating unpaved surfaces
    • Bituminous road oil (SC250 or SC800) is $0.12 per square foot.
    • Lignosulfonate is $0.05 per square foot
    • Petroleum emulsions is $0.15 per square foot
    • Polymers are $0.15 per square foot.

For More Information

For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, please contact your local USDA Service Center, listed in the government section of the phone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture. Information is also available on the internet at