NOTE: You can choose to receive the necessary AQMD form at the building department when you apply for your permit OR you may download the AQMD form from this website, complete it and submit it to AQMD along with your survey so that you will have an approved form to bring back to your building department. As a further convenience and to expedite this process, you may submit the AQMD form and survey documents by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asbestos Regulations - What is Subject to Regulation?
Both U.S. EPA (40 CFR Part 61) and local regulations (AQMD Rule 902) apply to the removal of Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM) in renovations and demolitions of commercial buildings. RACM is defined as being friable and greater than 1% asbestos containing. Friable means to that it can be crushed under hand pressure. Demolitions are defined as any project removing a load bearing wall or supporting structure. Removal of rafters supporting roofs, moving of the structure and complete razing are all examples of demolitions. Renovations are defined basically as all projects that are not demolitions. Common examples would be tenant improvement and remodeling. Important Note: the failure to comply with Rule 902 and/or federal regulations regarding RACM may result in a Notice of Violation being issued by the AQMD and civil penalties under state and/or federal law, in addition to possible action by U.S. EPA under federal law.
Federal and local Rule 902 can be summarized into the following four categories:
To determine the amount of RACM in a structure, Rule 902 requires that a survey be conducted prior to demolition or renovation unless:
a) the structure is otherwise exempt from the rule, or
b) any suspect material is assumed to be RACM
c) there is <160 square feet or <260 linear feet or <35 cubic feet of RACM of suspect materials to be removed
Effective July 1, 2010 there are new survey requirements for all asbestos surveys conducted in Sacramento County. See the June 2010 Advisory (PDF). In California, surveys must be conducted by a certified asbestos consultant (CAC). CAC’s are listed online under "Asbestos or Environmental Consultants."
There is a 10 business day waiting period for all jurisdictional projects in the United States. This applies to all demolitions and when there are jurisdictional amounts of RACM in a renovation. The 10 day clock begins when the notification is submitted by US mail postmark or hand delivery to AQMD offices.
Work Practice Requirements
If the survey shows that there are asbestos containing materials present, the AQMD recommends leaving it alone. If it is necessary to remove the asbestos during the course of a renovation or demolition, the asbestos abatement must be conducted by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. There are specific work practice requirements for the abatement contractors in Rule 902. You should not attempt to remove the asbestos-containing materials yourself. These professionals are trained in the regulations, techniques and equipment necessary for a safe and legal removal job. Asbestos abatement contractors can be found online “Asbestos or Environmental Contractors."
There are specific disposal requirements for the abatement contractors in Rule 902 for RACM, including disposal at a licensed landfill. If the material is non-friable asbestos, any landfill willing to accept asbestos-containing material may be used to dispose of the material.
Rule 902 and Residential Structures
Most renovation or demolition projects of residential structures are exempt from Rule 902. Generally, if the structure has four or fewer units, the renovation or demolition is not subject to Rule 902. However, if your renovation or demolition is a result of a commercial, public works, or eminent domain project, these exemptions will not apply and you will be subject to applicable administrative and work practice requirements of Rule 902. If your project is the renovation or demolition of 5 or more residential units, Rule 902 also applies.
If you are unsure if Rule 902 applies to the renovation or demolition of a residential structure, you should contact an asbestos consultant or call the AQMD.
Be aware that other agencies, such as Cal OSHA, have additional regulations that apply to asbestos removal in residential structures. If you have questions regarding which regulations apply to your project, the AQMD advises you to contact Cal OSHA or an asbestos consultant.
- Asbestos Renovation/Demolition & Notification Form rev. April 2013 (PDF). For building department permit applicants.
- Asbestos Abatement Notification Form rev. 2013 (PDF). For DOSH registered abatement contractors.
- Survey Form (PDF). For DOSH certified CAC’s, SST’s and EPA certified building inspectors.
- Survey Form Instructions (PDF)
Regulation and Compliance information sources:
- AQMD Rule 902 (PDF)
- Federal regulations are available on the Internet at the Government Printing Office Web site
- AQMD Asbestos Compliance Assistance Brochure rev. 2007 (PDF 2 Mb)
- AQMD Memo on Fire Department Training Burn Requirements rev. 2004 (PDF)
- CARB EPA Advisory on Fire Department Training Burn Requirements 2001 (PDF)
- Rule 304, Plan Fees (PDF)
Who regulates asbestos in the US? Sacramento?
The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. In accordance with Section 112 of the CAA, EPA established National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) to protect the public. Asbestos was one of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated under Section 112. On March 31, 1971, EPA identified asbestos as a hazardous pollutant, and on April 6, 1973, EPA first promulgated the Asbestos NESHAPS in 40 CFR Part 61.
AQMD Rule 902, Asbestos, parallels much of the federal regulation but is more stringent than the federal law and clarifies some of the federal regulation.
The purpose of these regulations are to protect the public’s health by minimizing the release of asbestos fibers into the air when facilities which contain asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), are demolished or renovated.
Who is responsible to comply with the federal regulations and Rule 902?
The owner and operator(s) of the project are held responsible. An operator may be considered anyone that has control or supervises the project.
What is a renovation?
A renovation is altering a facility or one or more facility components in any way, including the stripping or removal of Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM) from a facility component. A renovation could be, but not limited to, any interior renovation or remodel not affecting load-supporting structural members or a roof replacement.
What is a demolition?
A demolition means the wrecking or taking out of any load-supporting structural member of a facility together with any related handling operations or the intentional burning (i.e. practice burns) of any facility.
In what instances is an asbestos inspection/survey required?
AQMD Asbestos Rule 902 requires a thorough inspection for the presence of asbestos prior to the start of all renovations and/or demolitions of any “facility”. As defined in the regulation, a "facility" is any institutional, commercial, public, industrial or residential structure, installation or building (including any structure, installation or building containing condominiums, or individual dwelling units, operated as a residential cooperative, but excluding residential buildings having four or fewer dwelling units); any ship; or any active or inactive waste disposal site. Any building, structure or installation that contains a loft used as a dwelling is not considered residential. Any structure, installation, or building that was previously subject to the Asbestos Rule 902 is not excluded, regardless of its current use or function.
Are single-family residences regulated by Rule 902?
Not under most circumstances but there are exceptions. Contact AQMD or refer to Rule 902 for specifics.
Are single-family residences that are demolished or renovated to build commercial structures regulated by Rule 902?
Yes. For example, Rule 902 regulates multiple residential structures that are demolished as part of an urban renewal project, a highway construction project, or a project to develop a shopping mall. A single home which is converted into a non-residential structure is also regulated by Rule 902. For example, if someone buys a house and converts it into a store, the renovation is subject to Rule 902.
Will AQMD test my building for asbestos for me?
No. Owners and operators are responsible for getting their buildings tested by a Certified Asbestos Consultant.
Do I need to get an asbestos survey before the Building Department will issue my permit?
Yes. If your project is within AQMD’s jurisdiction, the building department will issue you the Asbestos Renovation/Demolition Survey & Notification Form which must be completed and submitted to AQMD for approval before you begin your project. The Asbestos Renovation/Demolition Survey & Notification Form and other applicable forms are also available at airquality.org.
How much material does my project have to remove in order to be subject to Rule 902?
For demolitions, Rule 902 applies for all demolitions regardless of the amounts of materials removed. For renovations, Rule 902 must be followed when at least 160 square or 260 linear feet of suspect asbestos containing materials will be removed. These amounts are known as the "threshold" amounts. Certain exemptions are allowed for renovations with less than the threshold amounts. Refer to Rule 902 or contact AQMD for details.
Are recently constructed facilities subject to the asbestos regulations?
Yes. There is no exclusion date in the asbestos regulations for new facilities.
What asbestos-containing materials are regulated under Rule 902?
ACM regulated under the Rule 902 is referred to as "regulated asbestos-containing material" (RACM). RACM is defined in Rule 902 and includes: (1) friable asbestos-containing material >1%; (2) Category I non-friable ACM that has been or will be sanded, ground, cut, or abraded; or (3) Category II non-friable ACM that has already been or is likely to become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder.
Who is responsible for submitting a notification?
Rule 902 states that the owner of the building and operator of the demolition or renovation project is responsible to submit the notification.
Is an AQMD notification form required for a renovation/demolition project when no asbestos is present?
All demolitions must be notified to AQMD, even if there is no RACM present. You will not be able to receive your demolition permit from the building department if AQMD hasn’t “signed off”. If the asbestos survey indicates that the renovation has no RACM present (up to 160 sqft/260 lift), then it does not have to be notified.
How do I notify?
The completed AQMD notification form may be submitted by mail, hand or commercial delivery service to the AQMD.
Can I notify via email?
Demolitions cannot be notified by email. Renovations where the asbestos survey has determined that no RACM is present (up to 160 sqft/260 sqft) may be submitted via email to email@example.com.
What are the notification fees?
Fees are based on a sliding scale depending on the amounts of RACM that will be removed in each individual containment. For demolitions, notification fees apply even when RACM is not present. For renovations, the same sliding scale of fees are applied when the RACM to be removed will exceed 160sqft/260lift. Please refer to the Rule 304, Fees (see above) or contact AQMD for specifics.
What will happen if I violate Rule 902?
Sanctions vary under the California Health & Safety Code. In some cases, Notices to Comply (NTC) -- written warnings -- or Notices of Violation (NOVs) are issued to owners or operators who violate notification requirements. Violators of the work practice or disposal standards may be subject to NOVs and/or civil and criminal penalties up to $25,000 per day per violation, depending upon the seriousness of the violation. For more information on penalties and enforcement, see the AQMD brochure, “Resolving Violations”.
If I have asbestos renovation or demolition questions, whom should I contact?
Please contact AQMD at (916) 874-4800 or visit us at www.airquality.org. Daily in house consultation hours are M-F, 8:00-10:00am.
Where can I find a comprehensive list of Certified Asbestos Consultants in Sacramento county?
You can conduct a query by area at the Department of Industrial Relations webste.