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San Francisco Health Code:

Article 22B Construction Dust

Article 31 Hunters Point Shipyard

Article 38 Enhanced Ventilation

San Francisco Public Works Code:

Article 21 Construction Dust

California Codes

Title 17 Chapter 1

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California Air Resources Board

SF Air Quality Element

Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program

Related Documents

SFDPH Fee Schedule

Dust Control

Dust control is enforced by Department of Building Inspection or "DBI" (under San Francisco Building Code – San Francisco Administrative Code, Chapter 1A) and Department of Public Works (under San Francisco Department of Public Works ("DPW"), Article 15 and DPW Order No. 171,378).

Under San Francisco Building Code and San Francisco Health Code, Article 22B, SFDPH has a very limited role with construction dust mitigation. DPH is required to review site specific dust control plans for projects meeting these two conditions:

  1. Greater than half acre in size; and
  2. Sensitive receptors within 1,000 feet of the project.


Projects that are governed by the law must submit to DPH a plan for approval prior to starting construction. For approval, the plan must specify elements such as watering plans, particulate matter monitoring (PM10), establishment of a complaint hotline, enforcement of speed limits on the construction site, and other measures as specified in Article 22B of the Health Code. The use of potable water for construction dust control is governed by San Francisco Public Works Code Article 21.


Project sponsors should submit their Dust Control Plans, along with the appropriate fee to Dust Control Program, 1390 Market Street, Suite 210, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Although SFDPH reviews these dust control plans, DPH does not have authority to enforce the dust control measures once the plan is approved (for those sites that meet both conditions noted above).

If the project size is less than half an acre or there is no sensitive use nearby, the site specific dust control plan does not need to be submitted, reviewed or approved by DPH.

However, even projects for which DPH does not approve dust control must still prevent visible dust from leaving the interior of the site. The enforcement agency depends on who issued the permit for the work—usually either DBI or DPW. Permit information for any property in San Francisco may be found by visiting the Planning Department's Property Information Page.


Summary of Department Roles


  • Reviews and approves site specific dust control plans for large projects (greater than 0.5 acre) with sensitive receptors within 1,000 feet; and
  • Provides DBI with written notification that site specific dust control plan is approved; or
  • Provides DBI with written notification that site specific dust control plan is not required or waived (See SF Building Code, Sections 106A. and 106A.; SF Health Code, Article 22B, Sections 1242(a), 1243, 1244(a), and 1245)


    • Requires dust control measures for all building, demolition, excavation, grading, foundation, and general construction projects
    • Requires a permit for all site preparation work, demolition or construction activities that (1) may create dust or (2) will expose or disturb more than 10 cubic yards or 500 square feet of soil
    • May not issue a permit for large projects (over 0.5 acre), until a written notice has been received by DPH stating that the site specific dust control plan has been approved, not required, or waived in accordance with SF Health Code, Article 22B
    • May waive requirements for sites less than 0.5 acre
    • Upon receiving a complaint, administer and enforce the dust control requirements (See Building Code, Sections 106A., 106A., 106A., 106A., and 106A.



      • Requires a permit for sidewalk work
      • Has authority to adopt orders, rules, and regulations that will preserve and maintain public health and safety
      • Requires contractors to implement good and strict practices that will achieve the goal of "no visible dust" emissions
      • No requirements for DPH to review or approve any DPW project site dust mitigation plans or practices
      • Enforces all of DPW codes and orders (DPW Code, Article 15, Sections 708, 724.4(b); DPW Order No. 178,940; DPW Order No. 171,378 as Appendix C)




        Making a Complaint

        If you would like to make a complaint regarding dust control, you may call 311.

        311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

        San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch


        Please also refer to the guide to the many different agencies that handle complaints about odors and fumes.