Dust problems can arise on demolition or construction sites, especially during periods of dry or windy weather – and particularly on sites bordered by residential properties.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that Best Practicable Means (BPM) must be taken to prevent dust causing a nuisance – it is the duty of the contractor to demonstrate to pollution control that all reasonable remedial action has been implemented.
It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to cause nuisance to the inhabitants of a neighbourhood by generating dust.
In cases where the environment and public protection service has received complaints or has reason to believe that dust-related nuisance is likely to occur, an investigation will be undertaken. If on-site activities are considered to be a nuisance the contractor could be served an Abatement Notice.
The environment and public protection best practice guidance (below) helps developers identify good practice methods for demolition and construction.
Compliance with the guidance does not necessarily exempt contractors from prosecution under demolition and construction legislation, although adhering to BPM could be used as a defence from prosecution.
Best practice mitigation measures should be carried out at all times – but if impossible to fully comply with the guidance for certain emergency works, the developer should provide environment and public protection as much notice as possible.