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PM10 - Assessment and Treatment Alternatives

 

CTU = Conservation Treatment Unit
NCPS = National Conservation Practice Standard
 

PM10 - A criteria air pollutant consisting of inhalable coarse particles such as those found in fugitive dust near roadways and industrial operations. PM10 particles have an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter (about 1/7 the diameter of the average human hair). Deposition in the lungs may cause adverse health effects. Common agricultural sources are smoke, dust, and dirt from field wind erosion, debris and residue burning, fugitive dust, animal feeding operations, heavy use areas, and unpaved roads. PM10 can travel up to 30 miles from the source. Agricultural emissions may vary by type of operation, time of year and other conditions such as humidity, soil moisture and equipment speed.

Are there unpaved roads, earth moving, and/or equipment staging areas within the CTU?

Yes or No. Up to 1 ton of PM10 per year may be generated from unpaved farm roads. If yes, consider mitigation practices and management techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation from these areas, such as:

  • Synthetic or organic materials such as gums, polyacrylimides, and polymers used as PM10 suppressants
  • Water sprinkling or misting
  • Speed or traffic reduction techniques (speed bumps, speed limits, gates)
  • Dust control on unpaved roads and surfaces (NCPS Number 373)
  • Restricted access to limit public use of private roads
  • Mulches (hulls, wood chips) (NCPS Number 484)
  • Paved or washed gravel surfaces on roads and heavily used areas (NCPS Numbers 560, 561)
  • Cover Crop between orchard rows (NCPS Number 340).

Is there any planned surface disturbing activity planned with the potential to generate undesirable or harmful levels of PM10 on the CTU?

Yes or No. Evidence of undesirable PM10 levels may be fenceline soil drifts, blowouts, public complaints, and haze on windy days. Use 30/30 rule: Dust is produced when wind speed is 30 miles per hour (mph) or greater and relative humidity is 30 percent or less. If yes, consider practices/management techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation such as:

  • Residue management practices (NCPS Numbers 329, 344, 345, 346)
  • Vegetative barriers (NCPS Numbers 311, 327, 386, 603, 393, 342)
  • Irrigation management (NCPS Number 449)
  • Land reconstruction (NCPS Numbers 572, 543, 466)
  • Alternate row tillage (row crops and orchards)
  • Combined operations to limit equipment passes
  • Limit tillage activity during windy periods (> 10 mph)
  • Cover Crop (NCPS Number 340) or Critical Area Planting (NPS Number 342).

Are timber or forage harvesting operations planned with the potential to generate undesirable or harmful levels of PM10 on the CTU?

Yes or No. If yes, consider practices/management techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation such as:

  • Forest Management (NCPS Numbers 666 and 660)
  • Dust control on unpaved roads and surfaces (NCPS Number 373). Grinding, chipping or shredding residues instead of burning
  • Hayland, Pasture and Rangeland Harvest Management (NCPS Number 511)
  • Mulching (NCPS Number 484)
  • Night farming/harvest operations during periods of greater humidity
  • Green chop harvesting
  • Baling/large bales to reduce travel trips.

Does track-out (to paved roads) commonly occur from unpaved roads within the CTU?

Yes or No. If yes, consider practices/techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation from sediment track-out such as:

  • Dust Control on unpaved roads and surfaces (NCPS Number 373)
  • Access Road (NCPS Number 560)
  • Gravel stabilized construction entrance
  • Shaker plates, rumble tracks and other sediment track-out control devices such as automated wheel-wash stations
  • Synthetic/organic materials such as gums, polyacrylamide, and polymers used as PM10 suppressants.

Does wind contribute to PM10 generation and/or transport from the CTU? Determine if the CTU is in a high risk area for wind erosion? Tools: Evaluate for Highly Erodible Soils; assess document and plan for the prevailing wind direction (see Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG), Section I, Erosion Prediction, Part 1. Wind Erosion, Sub-Part 1. Predicting Wind Erosion, Table 4); and calculate average annual wind erosion estimate. Determine severity compared to soil loss tolerance (T) value. High risk > 2T.

Yes or No. If yes, consider practices/management techniques that reduce or eliminate wind induced PM10 generation such as:

  • Wind modification practices - Windbreaks (NCPS Numbers 380, 422, 588, 589c, and 650)
  • Tillage/residue management practices (NCPS Numbers 329, 344, 345, 346, and 585)
  • Vegetative barriers (NCPS Numbers 386 and 603)
  • Mulching (NCPS Number 484)
  • Cover Crop (NCPS Number 340) or Critical Area Planting (NCPS Number 342)
  • Land retirement/fallowing
  • Emergency tillage/surface roughening.

Are there any feedlots or Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) on the CTU? Consider the size and location characteristics relative to prevailing winds. Large, > 1,000-head open cattle feed lots in exposed locations can be a locally important source of PM10 emissions.

Yes or No. If yes, consider practices/management techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation such as:

  • Corral dust control (frequent manure scraping – Waste Transfer NCPS Number 634) or misting/spraying to maintain desired moisture content
  • Heavy Use Area Protection (NCPS Number 561)
  • Waste Storage Facility (solids) (NCPS Number 313)
  • Mix, grind, and deliver animal feeds during low-wind activity
  • Construction of living and/or artificial windbreaks, herbaceous wind barriers and/or hedgerow plantings (NCPS Numbers 380, 386, 561, 589c, 603), that will disturb air flow patterns thereby serving to increase or decrease air flow and reduce energy costs, as needed
  • Construct permanent or temporary fabricated shelters.

Is there any bulk, dry materials handling/storage activity (grain elevator, bulk fertilizers, and dry manure storage) planned on the CTU?

Yes or No. Depending on criteria, a commercial grain elevator is one of the rare agricultural sources that may be subject to regulation. Grain elevator dust is usually larger than PM10 but may aggravate a localized particulate issue. If yes, consider practices/techniques that reduce or eliminate PM10 generation such as:

  • Waste utilization, transfer, and management (NCPS Numbers 313, 359, 633, 366, and 317)
  • Construction of living and/or artificial windbreaks, herbaceous wind barriers and/or hedgerow plantings (NCPS Numbers 380, 386, 561, 589c, 603, that will disturb air flow patterns thereby serving to increase or decrease air flow and reduce energy costs, as needed
  • Utilize tarps, covers or enclosed loading and transport facility to decrease incidental losses.
  • Air filtration devices can be used to remove fine particulate matter before discharge.

Continue on to PM2.5 - Assessment and Treatment Alternatives