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 10-5.160, Control of Odors in the Ambient Air, 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 Saint Louis County is limited by Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) regulation 10 CSR 10-6.045, Open Burning Requirements, which includes the following provisions:
- The burning of trash is prohibited.
- The open burning of tires, petroleum-based products, asbestos containing materials, and trade waste is prohibited. This includes burning to salvage materials.
- All open burning of leaves, brush, or other vegetation is prohibited in all municipalities located in the St. Louis Non-Attainment Area.
- Open burning of leaves, brush, or other vegetation in unincorporated areas is limited to September 16th - April 14th, between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The base of the fire may not exceed sixteen square feet.
- Open burning for the purpose of weed and pest control for agricultural purposes 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 under this rule provided an applicant can prove that the emissions from the open burning of the specified material would be less than the emissions from any other waste disposal method. This includes utilizing Air Curtain Destructors (ACDs). Please note that the Saint Louis County Air Pollution Control Program prohibits this method of removal from April 15th - September 15th in all of Saint Louis County. No temporary permit applications will be approved during this time period.
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, 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. To prevent smoke issues, situating a fire as far as possible from neighbors downwind greatly reduces the risk that smoke will leave property boundaries and cause a nuisance. Inform the Air Pollution Control Program immediately if a particulate matter nuisance is discovered.
All gas station pumps located in the St. Louis Non-Attainment Area are required to have Stage II Vapor Recovery installed, which includes special hoses, bellows (the accordion-style tube that must be compressed to fit the nozzle into the gas tank), and faceplates (which tightly seal the nozzle to your gas tank). If you visit a station with cuts or tears in any of these components, inform the Air Pollution Control Program as soon as possible.