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Dust Control On Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)


Unpaved RoadThe Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering conservation 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.

This practice may be applied as part of a conservation management system to control dust from unpaved roads and other surfaces which is generated by vehicle or machinery traffic, and/or wind. Unpaved roads and

traffic areas can be significant sources of visible dust and particulate matter emissions (PM10 and PM2.5). 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.

To assist with these emission reduction efforts, the California Air Quality Initiative may provide payment assistance to California growers who apply approved dust suppressants that have demonstrated 50% or more PM10 control for at least one year after application. These suppressants are SC250 (SC800 on alkali soils) road oil.

New for 2016: Lignosulfonates for organic or transitional organic growers has been approved subject to organic certifying agency approval.

Funding priorities are based on a screening and ranking process that considers the benefits of planned conservation practices, as identified by local, state and national priorities within nationally designated air quality non-attainment areas in California.

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

California growers must meet EQIP eligibility requirements to qualify for payments.

This practice does not apply to:

  • Previously paved surfaces
  • Vegetated areas, rangeland or cropland, or to surfaces subjected to animal activity
  • Road shoulders or public right of ways
  • As necessary, landowners must check with their certifying organic organizations for approval

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 until the dust suppressant has cured. Please follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Two-year contracts are required.

Payment rate for treating unpaved surfaces will be provided by a Practice Payment Schedule developed annually by National Headquarters for suppressants including, but not limited to:

  • Bituminous road oil (SC250 or SC800)
  • Lignosulfonate

For More Information

For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), 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