The Effect of EPA Regulations on Asbestos in Demolition

Asbestos warning signs

In virtually any demolition project, the EPA's National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) notification is required. The NESHAPs program is part of the Clean Air Act and, in the context of demolition work, is meant to regulate hazardous airborne pollutants that may be released during the job. One of these hazardous air pollutants is asbestos.Before work can take place, the asbestos NESHAPs calls for a thorough inspection of the facility to determine if asbestos containing materials are present. All demolition projects are regulated by these same rules, whether or not asbestos is present in the facility. Because asbestos is actually still used in some modern building materials, identifying the presence of the substance can be difficult. The age of the building is not a determining factor for whether one is likely to encounter asbestos.Part of the NESHAPs inspection includes identifying, sampling and analyzing of materials suspected of containing asbestos. This inspection is completed by licensed inspector who meets the requirements of both the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act and any additional state and local requirements.In addition to the inspection, the owner or operator of the demolition needs to provide a written notification of the intention to demolish. Work cannot begin on a site without this notification. Ten days after the submission of this notification, site prep and other activities can get underway. This remains in effect even if the inspection turns up no present asbestos containing materials.The written notification will vary from state to state, but will include:
  • The facility owner's name, address and contact information
  • The demolition contractor's address and contact information
  • Type of operation conducted
  • A declaration of asbestos
  • Description of demolition methods to be used
  • Description of engineering controls to be used to prevent emissions of asbestos
  • The name and contact information of the waste transporter
Even when asbestos materials are identified, they may not have to be removed. If the material falls under Category I, is not in poor condition and is not friable prior to demolition, it does not need to be removed, except in the case of intentional burning.Following these regulations ensures that a demolition project is completed safely and no hazardous emissions are released into the environment.At Demolition Technologies, we make safety a priority and ensure compliance at each phase of every project. To learn more about our demolition processes, give us a call.