Our office is working on passing an ordinance called Fugitive Dust Ordinance, which essentially regulates facilities that store large piles of bulk solid material, such as petcoke, asphalt millings, gravel, sand and limestone. As you can imagine, the facilities that store these kind of products can create highly-localized hotspots of particulate matter pollution onto neighborhoods, directly affecting our communities through the air they breath.
We would like to invite you to read more about this ordinance and invite you to provide public comment during our upcoming District 6 Evening Council Meeting (5/16 7-8:30pm at Patton Park Recreation Center), an opportunity to address to the whole Council.
Please find attached the flyer for our Council Meeting, and below general information about the ordinance, as well as the link to an online petitio

Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance Fact Sheet

Basics of the Ordinance



1.)    What is the Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance—The Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance is a proposed ordinance being considered by Detroit’s city council to regulate facilities that store large piles of bulk solid material, such as petcoke, asphalt millings, gravel, sand, and limestone. These types of facilities can create highly-localized hotspots of particulate matter (PM) pollution due to wind blowing dust from the facility into nearby neighborhoods and homes.

2.)    General Requirements for All Facilities— All facilities that have large piles of bulk solid materials:

a.      Prohibited from permitting visible fugitive dust to be discharged into the atmosphere or beyond the property line of the facility and is prohibited from allowing any fugitive dust at the facility to exceed an opacity limit of 5%. The facility must test conduct opacity tests at least quarterly.

b.      Must submit and follow a fugitive dust plan, which is subject to the approval of BSEED

c.       Must install, operate, and maintain PM10 monitors at the facility at upwind and downwind locations at the facility.

d.      Must install, operate, and maintain a wind monitor at the facility.

e.      Must utilize at least one fugitive dust control measure at each conveyor and material transfer point

f.        All outgoing material transport trucks must pass through a wheel wash station and over a rumble strip

g.      Must use a street sweeper to clean any paved road that is used to transport material inside or within one quarter mile of the perimeter of the facility



3.)    Specific Requirements for Petcoke Facilities— Requirements only for facilities that store any petcoke, coke breeze, met coke, or nut coke:

a.      Must store a fully enclosed structure in accordance with an enclosure plan prepared by the facility and subject to BSEED approval

b.      Must conduct all material loading and unloading in regards to trucks and railcars in an enclosed structure

4.)     Specific Requirements for Outdoor Storage Piles— Requirements for facilities that store bulk solid material other than carbonaceous material outdoors:

a.      Pile height cannot exceed 35 feet

b.      Piles must be set back at least 100 feet from any waterway

c.       Must suspend all handling activities when wind speeds exceed 25 MPH

d.      Must install dust suppressant systems to control fugitive dust from all outdoor piles



5.)    Exemptions—A facility may apply to BSEED for an exemption from any requirement of the ordinance (in the draft ordinance, this is referred to as a “variance”).  The request for an exemption must be in writing and granting an exemption is in the discretion of the BSEED director. The BSEED director shall not grant any exemption until after a public hearing at which members of the public have had an opportunity to comment on the exemption application. BSEED shall provide notice of all exemption applications.


Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance Fact Sheet


1.)    A study commissioned by the City of Chicago found that bulk material piles can, in general, be a significant source of particulate matter and contribute to localized exceedances of ambient air quality standards. The national ambient air quality standard for PM10 is 150 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The study found that that maximum predicted concentration of PM10 from a facility storing petcoke would be as high as 5,297 micrograms per cubic meter of air.



2.)    The EPA’s 2009 Integrated Science Assessment for particulate matter linked short-term PM10 exposure to increased hospital and emergency department visits for cardiovascular and respiratory health issues.

3.)    According to the EPA’s 2009 Integrates Science Assessment, the evidence from scientific studies linking short-term increases in PM concentration with respiratory hospitalizations and emergency department visits is consistent across studies. Recent studies have provided further support for this relationship and have found children and the elderly to be particularly vulnerable.  More specifically, recent scientific studies have shown a significant association between short-term PM10 exposure and respiratory-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations, particularly amongst children. Another study conducted in Detroit found that increased particulate matter pollution is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for congestive heart failure amongst seniors.



4.)    Detroit has been labeled the “epicenter of asthma” by the Michigan Department of Community Health. The rate of asthma hospitalizations in Detroit is three times the state average. The rate of asthma deaths in Detroit is two times the state average. The rate of asthma hospitalization for Detroit children is 50% higher than that of Detroit adults.



5.)    Chicago has adopted similar regulations to those included in the proposed fugitive dust ordinance. The regulations have resulted in reductions in particulate matter pollution from petcoke storage facilities. Residents in Los Angeles have complained about the negative health impacts caused by an outdoor storage pile of asphalt millings, which blows into the homes of nearby residents. Several other communities have also adopted ordinances to regulate fugitive dust from bulk solid material facilities.


General Information
Online petition

Mariana C. Martinez, MPA
Chief of Staff
Office of Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López
Detroit City Council
2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 1340
Detroit, MI 48226
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.