Vegetable oil a no-no for most dust control

The in basket: Neil Streicher asks, “We live on a community gravel road and looking for a way to control dust from the road that is environmentally safe and want to know if vegetable is approved for this purpose.

“Unable to find a government agency with an answer,”

he said.

The out basket: I asked Kitsap County Public Works Neil’s question and spokesman Doug Bear says he found the following about using vegetable oil for dust control:

“The Washington State Department of Ecology would consider that an illicit discharge if it were to enter anything they consider ‘waters of the State,’ including wetlands, ponds, creeks, etc. as well as Puget Sound.  That’s specified by the Clean Water Act.  See here:

“Per (the county’s) stormwater permit, issued by the state, we have to consider anything entering our system an illicit discharge unless it’s straight stormwater, or any of the ‘allowable discharges’ listed on pages 20 and 21 here:

You can look it up it you like. It’s specific  to municipalities but will give you an idea of the detail included in the clean water laws.

Doug continued, “We generally use water as our preferred dust-control method, but there are also commercial products available that are plant-lingin based binders that can be applied. These typically require a professional to apply. and they may not hold up to frequent traffic.”



3 thoughts on “Vegetable oil a no-no for most dust control

  1. Actually, the air borne dust maybe consider a much higher risk than any dust palliative… USDA / USFS has approved several formulas… most use a molasses/beet mix, so much more environmental friendly than the counties sewer overflows.

  2. When I was working on a farm in rural VT in 1956 either the state or the town put Calcium Chloride (a salt) on miles and miles of dirt roads. It was applied with a fertilizer spreader towed behind a pickup truck. Since salt attracts moisture it kept the dust down quite well and stood up to traffic. With what we know of envirnomental issues today it probably would not pass the sanity check but it did seem to control the dust.

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