• Specialty:

    Fugitive Dust
  • Location:

    Industrial
  • Type:

    Environmental Study
  • Timespan:

    2015
  • Location:

    Swampscott, MA

Project Number:

3943

Aggregate Industries - Quarry Dust Monitoring Study

SERVICE:

Dust Monitoring Study

DESCRIPTION:

Aggregate Industries retained Tech Environmental (Tech) to complete a 14-day dust monitoring study at the Aggregate Industries (AI) quarry. The purpose of this study was to determine if particulate matter emissions generated by the quarry operations were causing elevated dust levels at a residence one half mile away.

Concurrent measurements of airborne fine particulate matter, less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), were collected in the back yard at the residence and near the southeastern property line of the AI quarry for 14 days. During that same time period, meteorological conditions (i.e. wind speed and direction) were collected with a 10-meter-high weather station also deployed near the southeastern property line of the facility.

The results of this study revealed that PM2.5 levels at the southeastern property line of the AI quarry, which included a rock blasting event, were generally three times lower than at the residence. In addition, PM2.5 levels at the residence were generally inversely correlated to wind speed, and those levels were highest when winds were calm or were out of the west-southwest and not when the wind direction was from the quarry (i.e. northwesterly). Consequently, these findings did not support the theory that AI's quarry operations were a significant source of airborne PM2.5 concentrations at the residence. Tech did note that PM2.5 levels at the residence were elevated and were likely due to other nearby sources of PM2.5, such as the MBTA commuter rail, local roadway traffic and adjacent property clearing.

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Key Points

  • Over the course of two weeks, concurrent measurements of airborne fine particulate matter were collected at an aggregate facility and nearby property to investigate dust levels.
  • Using meteorological data gathered from the same location, it was determined that the aggregate facility operations was not a significant source of dust at the nearby property.