They might make landscaping jobs easier, but leaf blowers and gas-powered lawn and garden equipment can raise large amounts of dust. The best alternatives are a rake or broom.
State law requires property owners to control dust on their property. That includes banning “the blowing of landscape debris into public roadways at any time by any person.” Local laws also ban the use of leaf blowers on dirt fields, road shoulders, loose dirt, and advise limited use of leaf blowers on high pollution advisory days. To find out if there is an advisory, call (602) 771-2367, or visit www.CleanAirMakeMore.com.
For your reference, please visit the Maricopa County Air Quality Department’s leaf blower web page. You can also download the Leaf Blower Use brochure from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
ATVs and Off Highway Vehicles
Riding all-terrain vehicles, off-highway vehicles, dirt bikes and go-carts can be fun activities, but you should ride in designated areas only. Riding ATVs or other off-road vehicles within an urban area such as in vacant lots or riverbeds is illegal in most cases. It can also raise huge amounts of dust creating significant health risks and causing air quality violations. Riders who violate the law are subject to fines and penalties. They also risk the physical and economic health of the region’s residents.
Riding is prohibited on High Pollution Advisory (HPA) days in most of Maricopa County. Motor vehicle use on unpaved surfaces is restricted in Maricopa County. Before driving, riding, or parking on any land, check with the appropriate agency, such as your city and town, about the rules and requirements. You may be subject to fines and penalties if you violate these rules.
For more information on laws regarding off-highway vehicle use, safety tips, obtaining permits, or to find places you can ride, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website at http://azstateparks.com/OHV/index.html.
Don't Drive on Dirt
Driving on dirt can kick up large clouds of dust that can spread out over large areas. It is best to avoid driving on dirt. If you must drive on dirt, drive slowly.
State law prohibits parking or driving on non-dustproof surfaces such as vacant lots. Individuals and property owners are required to park vehicles on stabilized surfaces or those that have undergone approved dustproof paving methods. Approved methods include: asphaltic concrete, cement concrete, and “penetration treatment of bituminous material and seal coat of bituminous binder and a mineral aggregate,” or other stabilization methods approved by the city or town. For your reference, click here to access Maricopa County P-27 – Vehicle Parking and Use on Unstabilized Vacant Lots Ordinance.
Serious dust offenders can be reported to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department at 602-372-2703 or on the web via this link.
Woodburning and Fireplace Use
Burning wood in either a fireplace or a stove should only be enjoyed on days not designated as a No Burn Day. No Burn Days are designated by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department and are dependent on the level of pollution in the air. They are typically issued when a High Pollution Advisory is in effect. Mandatory No Burn Day restrictions prohibit the use of all fireplace, woodstove and outdoor burning devices. These include chimineas, outdoor fire pits, and similar outdoor fires. This ban applies to manufactured logs as well as wood. For more information, please follow this link to the County’s P-26 — Residential Woodburning Restriction Ordinance.
For more information on No Burn Days visit the Maricopa County Air Quality Department’s No Burn Days Information and Resources page.
Dust Control at a Construction Site
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department created a dust reduction guide to help construction develop plans to help them reduce dust pollution. The county monitors construction sites to ensure they are complying with the outlined requirements. For your reference, the guide is available at this link.