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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 District is delegated authority for two separate asbestos regulations.
The two regulations cover both asbestos in building materials and naturally occurring in soil and rock.
The Air District is delegated authority by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the Federal Asbestos NESHAP regulations specified in 40 CFR 61, Subpart M
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. 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.
To recover costs the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) will assess fees for all staff time or resources dedicated to determining compliance with the NESHAP. Fees shall be charged to the person responsible for the facility subject to the NESAHP at a rate which reflects labor costs as set periodically by the Air Pollution Control Board and actual costs incurred by the District.
In addition, NESHAP fee amounts for each demolition and renovation project 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 plan fee schedule for more information.
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.
Forms for demolition or renovation must be submitted by you or your licensed asbestos contractor to the District 10 working days in advance of any work.
Structures that have been damaged or have collapsed due to earthquakes, fires, or other disasters 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.
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.
The state Air Resources Board has identified asbestos as a toxic air contaminant. Under the ARB's Air Toxics Control Measure (NOA 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. 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. For those projects within the NOA Planning area (green areas), the following requirements apply.
For grading projects qualifiying for NOA ATCM exemption:
For grading projects in serpentine rock less than 1 acre:
For grading projects in serpentine rock greater than 1 acre:
When submitting the Project/Exemption Form, please fill in all applicable contact information. Consult the California Geological Survey and the Air Resources Board for more information on naturally occurring asbestos.
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).
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.