Developer reimburses homeowner after ‘fugitive dust’ infests her house

The developer building a 13-acre subdivision provided a $5,000 payment to clean Jane Gunn’s house and replace destroyed items.
Better Call Harry dust removal
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 9:26 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:30 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A metro Atlanta homeowner who blamed a developer for contaminating her home with dirt and dust recently agreed to a settlement.

The developer building a 13-acre subdivision provided a $5,000 payment to clean Jane Gunn’s house and replace destroyed items.

Gunn used the funds to hire professional remediators to clean her home and remove furniture that couldn’t be salvaged. The cleaning required multiple air scrubbers and took two days.

“It literally took half a day just in this one room, cleaning the room,” Gunn said.

A DeKalb County spokesperson said the developer is complying with county regulations. Still, days after the two sides reached an agreement, the developer covered acres of the clear-cut site with straw.

Better Call Harry opted not to name the developer because they were unaware of the homeowner’s issue and immediately acted in good faith to resolve it.

Georgia has regulations for what it calls “Fugitive Dust.”

  • 1. All persons responsible for any operation, process, handling, transportation or storage facility which may result in fugitive dust shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent such dust from becoming airborne. Some reasonable precautions which could be taken to prevent dust from becoming airborne include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • (i) Use, where possible, of water or chemicals for control of dust in the demolition of existing buildings or structures, construction operations, the grading of roads or the clearing of land;
  • (ii) Application of asphalt, water, or suitable chemicals on dirt roads, materials, stockpiles, and other surfaces which can give rise to airborne dusts;
  • (iii) Installation and use of hoods, fans, and fabric filters to enclose and vent the handling of dusty materials. Adequate containment methods can be employed during sandblasting or other similar operations;
  • (iv) Covering, at all times when in motion, open bodied trucks, transporting materials likely to give rise to airborne dusts;
  • (v) The prompt removal of earth or other material from paved streets onto which earth or other material has been deposited.
  • 2. The percent opacity from any fugitive dust source listed in paragraph (2)(n)1. above shall not equal or exceed 20 percent.

When Atlanta News First Investigates contacted the developer, the company inspected Gunn’s home and offered $5,000 for remediation. Although there is no proof that the dirt contamination came directly from the development, Gunn said she is happy with the offer.


If there’s something you would like Atlanta News First’s Consumer Investigator Better Call Harry to look into, fill out this submission form.