Air Pollution Nuisances
Saint Louis County Ordinance 612.340 prohibits the release of fumes or gases that might “be detrimental to any person or to the public or to endanger the health, comfort and safety of any person or the public, or in such manner as to cause or have a tendency to cause injury or damage to property or business.” This includes open burning, odors, particulate matter leaving a property, and asbestos concerns.
All demolition projects require pre-demolition permitting, which includes declaring whether or not a structure contains either type of asbestos (friable or non-friable). Most building materials are suspect asbestos-containing materials, with the exception of glass, fiberglass, and bare, unpainted wood. If you feel a contractor or property owner is being negligent in any way regarding the handling or removal of asbestos, or they are demolishing a structure or part of a structure without a permit, inform the Air Pollution Control Program as soon as possible.
The idling of heavy duty diesel vehicles in Saint Louis County is restricted to 5 minutes, with certain exceptions as listed in MDNR regulation 10 CSR 10-5.385, Control of Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle Idling Emissions. Saint Louis County Ordinance 612.340, Air Pollution Nuisances Prohibited, restricts the idling of any motor vehicle to 3 minutes, unless the engine is being used to operate a loading, unloading, or processing device. Idling vehicles result in the release of a number of pollutants, including fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and toxic air pollutants. In most circumstances, there is no reason to leave an engine running when the vehicle is not in motion. Unnecessary idling is something everyone can avoid that would make a big difference in air quality.
MDNR regulation 10 CSR 10-6.165, Restriction of Emissions of Odors, restricts the release of excessive odors on properties adjacent to or on residential, recreational, institutional, retail sales, hotel, or educational premises. Under Saint Louis County Ordinance 612.340, any odor can be deemed objectionable and cannot be released beyond property lines. Odors can come and go from an area very quickly. Inform the Air Pollution Control Program immediately if an odor becomes a nuisance.
Open burning in all portions of Saint Louis County (incorporated and unincorporated) is restricted by the St. Louis County Code of Revised Ordinances Ch. 612.345, Open Burning Restrictions, which includes the following provisions:
- St. Louis County prohibits the burning of trash, garbage, refuse, construction waste, demolition waste, petroleum-based materials, treated wood, trade waste, plastic, rubber, painted materials, coated materials, durable goods, and liquid or solid fuels.
- Recreational fires are allowed when comprised of only untreated seasoned dry fire wood which is free of leaves, needles, yard waste, garbage, rubbish, treated wood, or tree trimmings. A recreational fire shall not exceed a base area of 9 square feet and shall not cause smoke, ash or particulate matter to remain visible in the air or on surfaces beyond the property line where the fire is occurring.
- All open burning of yard waste including leaves, brush, or tree trimmings, etc. is prohibited. Properties equal to or greater than 3.0 acres or properties sharing a boundary with the Meramec, Missouri, or Mississippi Rivers may burn yard waste composed of leaves, needles, brush, tree trimmings, and other similar material from Sept. 15 to April 14. Total cumulative base area of the fire(s) shall not exceed 16 square feet and the fire shall not cause smoke, ash or particulate matter to remain visible in the air or on surfaces beyond the property line where the fire is occurring.
- Open burning for the purpose of conservation/prairie maintenance may be permitted with permission from the Saint Louis County Air Pollution Control Program. Refer to the complete rule for further information.
- Open burning for land-clearing operations may be permitted with permission from the Saint Louis County Air Pollution Control Program. Refer to the complete rule for further information.
Inform the Air Pollution Control Program immediately if illegal open burning is occurring.
Fugitive particulate matter (PM), such as dust, smoke, soot, pollen, and soil, is prohibited from traveling beyond property lines by MDNR regulation 10 CSR 10-6.170, Restriction of Particulate Matter to the Ambient Air Beyond the Premises of Origin. Frequent sources of fugitive PM include construction sites, demolition sites, rock-processing sites, and fires. Hot, dry, and windy weather creates the perfect conditions to create fugitive dust problems, but control measures, such as water spray or ceasing work when such weather conditions exist, can help alleviate and prevent dusting issues. Inform the Air Pollution Control Program immediately if a particulate matter nuisance is discovered.