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Environmental Health

Helpful Links

San Francisco Health Code:

Site Assessment and Mitigation Application

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

Other Websites

California Air Resources Board

SF Air Quality Element

Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program

Related Documents

SFDPH Fee Schedule


Related Programs

Site Assessment and Mitigation - Maher Program

Hazardous Waste Program

Program Contact

(415) 252- 3800


Dust Control

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

Under San Francisco Building Code and San Francisco Health Code (SFHC), Article 22B, San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) 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 Environmental Health Branch Site Assessment and Mitigation Program (EHB-SAM) 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 the following:
  1. Email application and any supporting document(s) to: If supporting document(s) is/are too large, please provide a file sharing link on the email with the application. Alternatively, EHB-SAM will send you a secure file sharing link if requested in your email. 
  2. Mail or Deliver a check for the current fee to: 
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Environmental Health Branch
Site Assessment and Mitigation Program
49 South Van Ness Ave, Ste 600
San Francisco, CA 94103

If the project is subject to both SFHC Article 22A (Maher Ordinance) and Article 22B, you only need to submit one application for both.

Although EHB-SAM reviews these dust control plans, EHB-SAM 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 EHB-SAM.

However, even projects for which EHB-SAM 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.



  • 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)



  • 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





Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint you may call or visit 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.