Fact Sheet: Air Pollution Rules for Crushed Stone /
Sand & Gravel Plants

January 1997
Ohio EPA, Division of Air Pollution Control
Small Business Assistance Program

Generally, rock and crushed stone products are first loosened by drilling and blasting, then are loaded by power shovel or front-end loader into large haul trucks that transport the material to processing operations. Sand and gravel are typically mined or dredged from naturally occurring deposits and then transported to processing operations. The processing operations may include crushing, screening, size classification, material handling, and storage operations.

All of these processes can be significant sources of particulate matter, or dust, which is of concern to the EPA. The dust emitted by these operations can be carried by the wind into surrounding neighborhoods, often generating citizen complaints. The dust may also remain suspended in the atmosphere and travel a great distance from the plant. For this reason, Ohio EPA regulations require operators of crushed stone and sand and gravel plants to use dust control measures for plant operations. NOTE: Ohio EPA typically uses the term "fugitive dust" when referring to emissions from stone plants. The term "fugitive" means that the dust does not come from a stack but instead comes from something open to the air such as an unpaved road, sandblasting operation, agricultural tilling, or heavy construction operation.

What do air pollution regulations require?

Ohio EPA air pollution regulations require crushed stone/sand & gravel plant operators to control dust by using what is call "Reasonably Available Control Measures" or RACM. Some common examples of RACM include water sprays or, enclosures on crushers and screens, chemical dust suppressants or oil on roadways, telescopic chutes for truck loading, and baghouse or cyclone type dust collectors on other operations. Other methods developed by the company may also be considered RACM if the method can be shown to measurably control dust. Ohio EPA regulations also limit the visible thickness of dust plumes (a term called opacity) and the amount of time emissions can be seen by the naked eye.

Chapters of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) which contain regulations relevant to crushed stone and sand & gravel plants are:

OAC 3745-31 - Permit to Install rules
OAC 3745-35 - Permit to Operate rules
OAC 3745-17 - Particulate Matter Standards

Are air pollution permits required?

YES. All new crushed stone/sand & gravel facilities installed after January 1, 1974 need a Permit to Install (PTI) and a Permit to Operate (PTO) from Ohio EPA. The PTI is a one-time permit needed before the plant is constructed and details the size of the plant, equipment capacity, and the company's control methods for all dust sources. After installation, the PTO is needed for each source for continued operation. Plants installed before January 1, 1974 need only operating permits.

A typical newly-constructed crushed stone plant will have four distinct dust sources requiring permits:

1. Plant roadways and parking areas. (Typically these are unpaved).
2. Aggregate storage piles.
3. Aggregate processing line, including all crushers, screens, and conveyors.
4. Drilling and blasting operations.

A typical newly-constructed sand & gravel plant may only need the first three permits listed above, as drilling and blasting operations are not normally performed.

What do the permits require a company to do?

Below is a brief summary of some typical RACM permit requirements:

Plant roadways and parking areas: watering or application of chemical dust suppressants as needed, depending on weather conditions; periodic sweeping or flushing of any paved surfaces. Records of when dust suppressants were applied are also typically required. Visible emissions are limited to 6 minutes total (paved surfaces) and 13 minutes total (unpaved surfaces) in any 60-minute period.

Aggregate storage piles: periodic watering, covering or enclosure if material is especially dusty. Visible emissions are limited to 13 minutes total in any 60-minute period.

Aggregate processing line: use of RACM to control dust on all crushers, screens, conveyor transfer points and loadout operations. If plant is installed after August 31, 1983, is portable and capable of processing over 150 tons per hour, or is fixed and capable of processing over 25 tons per hour, Federal New Source Performance Standards apply. These standards limit the density (opacity) of visible emissions from crushers (15% opacity), screens and conveyor transfer points (10% opacity) and any dust collector stack (7% opacity). There are also other requirements for equipment replacement and dust collector maintenance, if a dust collector is present.

Drilling and blasting: use of dust collector or water injection on drill. There are no visible emission limits for blasting.

How do I apply for a permit?

The Ohio EPA issues the air permits. Permit application forms are available from your local Ohio EPA field office or they can be downloaded from the Ohio EPA web page. If you don't know where your local Ohio EPA office is, call (614) 644-2270 and specify the county in which your plant is located.

The forms you will need are the following:

Form #3150 - Permit to Install (PTI)
Form #3161 - Permit to Operate (PTO)
Form #3111 - Emission Activity Category (EAC) form: Roadways
Form #3112 - EAC: Storage Piles
Form #3113 - EAC: Material Handling Operations
Form #3114 - EAC: Mineral Extraction (drilling and blasting)
Form #3133 - EAC: Aggregate Processing Plants

What information is required for the permit application?

The permit application forms request a large amount of data which is specific to your operations. Some of the information required is summarized below:

Form #3111 - Roadways and Parking areas: approximate length of plant roads and size of parking areas, the type of trucks used in plant operations, and the methods used to control dust. A simple diagram of the plant roadways, parking areas, and storage pile locations is also needed.

Form #3112 - Aggregate storage piles: type of material stored, its moisture and silt content, pile size, and methods used to control dust.

Form #3133 - Aggregate processing lines: manufacturer of the crushing and screening equipment, its maximum capacity, quantities of material produced and methods used to control dust.

Form #3114 - Mineral extraction (drilling and blasting): methods for mining and overburden removal, frequency of drilling and blasting, and methods used to control dust.

Form #3113 - Material handling: unloading and loading methods, type and quantity of conveyors, and methods used to control dust.

Forms #3150 and 3161 - Permit to Install and Operate: general company name, address, site location information and plant operating schedule. Also required are the estimated air emissions from the various process equipment you are installing. This is where most people need additional help. (See Below).

Where can I get help completing the permit applications?

If your company has less than 100 employees, the Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) can help you complete all applications and offers on-site assistance at your request. Friendly SBAP staff can save you a great deal of time and effort in completing all required forms. Call the Small Business Assistance Program at (614) 644-4830.

Special note: You will find it nearly impossible to complete all application forms without the following technical documents:

  1. Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, AP-42, Volume I. Chapters 11.19, 11.19.1, 13.2.1, 13.2.2
  2. Reasonably Available Control Measures for Fugitive Dust Sources, 1980, Ohio EPA, Division of Air Pollution Control. (This document is currently not available electronically.)

The OCAPP can assist you in obtaining these documents. Call (614) 644-3469 or (800) 329-7518.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Anywhere from 2 to 6 months after submitting the application to the Ohio EPA. It is suggested you submit a permit application once most of the equipment design specifications are known and well before starting construction. Incomplete applications are the main cause of application processing delays. The OCAPP can help you avoid these delays by helping you complete the applications thoroughly the first time. Call the OCAPP at (614) 644-3469 or (800) 329-7518 for assistance.