Vacant Lots, Paved and Unpaved Areas

Even if you are not required to have a dust control permit, you must still comply with dust control regulations. The regulation that covers dust sources that do not require a permit is Rule 310.01. The following is a list of several activities and areas that may generate dust, but they typically do not need a dust control permit and are covered by Rule 310.01.

The department does not address dust complaints resulting from agricultural sources. Complaints about dust from agricultural sources should be submitted to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) by using their Online Complaint Form.

Dust Caused by Trespassers

If trespassers are the source of the dust emissions from a vacant lot or open area, the owner or operator of the area is required to implement dust control measures. Owners or operators are encouraged to notify local law enforcement agencies if the criminal trespass activity continues to occur.  

Unpaved Parking Areas, Roadways and Alleys

Dust control measures are required on any area that is not paved and is used for parking, maneuvering, material handling, or storing motor vehicles or equipment. The type of dust control measures required depends on the number of days per year that the lot is used. For more information, consult the Unpaved Parking Lots help sheet. If an unpaved roadway or alley is owned by a government or quasi-government agency and has more than 150 vehicle trips per day, that agency is responsible for stabilizing the roadway and controlling dust.  

Easements, Right of Ways and Access Roads

 If an easement, right of way, or access road has more than 150 vehicle trips per day, the owner or operator is responsible for stabilizing the roadway and controlling dust. 

Weed Removal

 If less than 0.10 acre is disturbed or if weeds are removed with a mower, weed-eater or a hand tool, a dust control permit is not required. If more than 0.10 acre is disturbed and weed removal is done by mechanical equipment (such as discing, blading or scraping), a dust control permit is required. Regardless of removal method, dust must still be controlled and the soil must be re-stabilized to prevent it from crossing the property line. For more information, consult the Weed Removal Flyer.

Livestock Activities

Dust control measures must be implemented for any livestock activity so dust emissions do not exceed 20 percent opacity. Livestock activities include feeding animals, racing animals, exercising animals, or any related activities. Dust control regulations apply to (among others): horse corrals, horse arenas, livestock pens, feed lots, and areas used to exercise animals. For more information, consult the Livestock Activities flyer. 

Erosion Based Deposition of Materials

 If an erosion event (such as a rainstorm) causes dirt, mud, or other bulk material to be deposited onto a paved road or parking lot, the owner of the property where the material originated must use measures to control the erosion and clean up eroded material. Dust control measures include removing the material from the paved surfaces and disposing of the materials in such a way that another source of dust is not created. For more information, view the Dust Abatement Field Guide (PDF). (También disponible en español)

Vehicle Use on Open Areas and Vacant Lots

 Property owners are required to limit the emission of dust if an open area or vacant lot:

  • Is at least 0.10 acre, and
  • At least 500 square feet is being disturbed by vehicles.

Dust control measures include preventing vehicle access by installing barriers or fences or posting no trespassing signs. Areas that have been disturbed by motor vehicles or off-road vehicles can be re-stabilized by surface gravel, dust suppressants, or vegetative cover. Vehicle owners and operators are responsible for knowing where they are allowed to operate vehicles. Vehicle owners or operators are not allowed to use motor vehicles on any unpaved public or private property within the unincorporated areas of Maricopa County without lawful authority. For more information, please consult the Vacant Lots flyer.

Vacant Lots and Open Areas

Dust control measures are required if a vacant lot or open area:

  • Has a disturbed area larger than 500 square feet, and
  • Remains unused and undeveloped for more than 15 days.

Dust control measures include establishing a vegetative ground cover (such as shrubs and grasses), applying dust suppressants, or applying surface gravel. The owner or operator of the area could also stabilize and restore all disturbed areas so that they are similar to nearby undisturbed native conditions. For more information, consult the Vacant Lots flyer.

Page reviewed 29 September 2023