- APCD Board
- Contact Info
- Land Use and CEQA
- Monitoring Stations
- Permit Info
- Rules & Regulations
- SLO Car Free
The term asbestos refers to several types of fibrous minerals. It can be found in a variety of natural and man-made environments. Asbestos from either source can be a health concern if inhaled.
The Air District is delegated authority by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the Federal Asbestos NESHAP (the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants established by the EPA) regulations specified in 40 CFR 61, Subpart M Alt Link.
There are specific requirements and procedures delineated in this regulation which pertain to certain demolition and renovation projects and projects involving the removal of asbestos containing or asbestos wrapped utility pipes and cables. All non-residential demolitions of any kind of structure or asbestos containing or asbestos wrapped utility pipeline and cable are required to be approved in advance by the District. The steps to be taken by an owner/operator subject to this regulation are clearly defined. Contractors should call the District to obtain specific requirements that relate to their specific project at least one month in advance of the project start date.
Up until the 1970s, some 3,000 types of products were made with asbestos fibers. Below is the description of the two main categories of asbestos used in building materials.
|Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material (RACM)||Contains greater than 1% asbestos and is friable: can be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand when dry||
• ceiling tiles and acoustic spray
• air duct and boiler pipe wrap
• paper backing of linoleum
|Non-friable Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM)||Typically bound up with a hardening binder. Some products are still in use. Can become RACM when pulverized||
• transite (cement) siding
• vinyl asbestos floor tiles
• asphalt roofing shingles
Asbestos products in good condition and undisturbed do not pose a health threat. However, if the asbestos is not in good condition and RACM dust is inhaled, the fibers pose a serious health threat by becoming permanently lodged in body tissues. Symptoms of asbestos related diseases might not appear for 20 years or longer after the first exposure. Since there is no known safe level of exposure, all asbestos exposure should be avoided.
Hire a certified asbestos consultant. Click here for a list, or look in the yellow pages under “Asbestos” or “Environmental.”
Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum particles suspected of containing asbestos. Use only licensed asbestos removal contractors.
The Contractors State Licensing Board has prepared a booklet titled: “What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor.”
The District has free copies of several booklets available on asbestos.
Structures that have been damaged or have collapsed due to earthquakes, fires, or other diasters may contain hazardous materials, principally asbestos. Home or building owners and workers cleaning up debris should take steps to protect themselves or hire a licensed contractor to handle the cleanup. The APCD has the local responsibility to regulate materials containing more than 1% asbestos and can be contacted at their office to provide assistance and advice during regular business hours. The APCD office number is 805.781.5912.
In its natural state, asbestos occurs throughout much of the planet. Serpentine is a very common rock type in California and was identified by the Air Resources Board as having the potential to contain naturally occurring asbestos.
The state Air Resources Board has identified asbestos as a toxic air contaminant. Under the ARB's Air Toxics Control Measure (ATCM) for Construction, Grading, Quarrying, and Surface Mining Operations, prior to any grading activities at the site, a geologic analysis will be necessary to determine if serpentine rock is present. Grading projects in serpentine rock larger than 1 acre will require prior District approval of a Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan and an Asbestos Health and Safety Program. All subject project applicants should complete a Construction and Grading Project form. If Naturally Occurring Asbestos is not present, an Exemption form must also be filed with the APCD. When submitting the Project/ Exemption Form, please fill in all applicable contract information. Consult the California Geological Survey and the Air Resources Board for more information on naturally occurring asbestos.
In San Luis Obispo County, serpentine rock is located in many regions of the county including: coastal, coastal mountain, western north county and the extreme eastern county area along the San Andreas Fault. Areas subject to the NOA ATCM requirement can be found on the APCD NOA map.
The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) will assess Review Fees for all work that has the potential to disturb soil containing Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA). Asbestos is commonly found in ultramafic rock, including serpentine, near fault zones and is released into the air when it is broken or crushed. This can happen when land is graded for building purposes, or at quarrying operations. The state of California has determined that NOA, such as serpentine rock, is a toxic air contaminant and if inhaled may result in the development of lung cancer or cause other health hazards. Work in asbestos serpentine areas requires using dust control plans and may include air monitoring.
NOA Project Review Fee amounts depend upon the project size and if projects involve disturbance of asbestos serpentine, dust control plans or air monitoring. Exemptions from requirements are available based on geological evaluation. Please refer to the fee schedule for more information.
Resources for questions regarding the certification of a certain company, or issues relating to certification:
CAL OSHA for worker safety and contractor/consultant registration: 916-920-6131
Contractors State Licensing Board contractor licensing issues: 916-366-5153
The American Lung Association
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Center for Disease Control & Prevention
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) U.S. Department of Labor
Contact us for more information on this topic.