Asbestos Notification and Inspection Requirements for Demolition and Renovation Work.

posted by Michael Fortney  |  Feb 19, 2013 07:35 AM in Construction Law

Asbestos Notification and Inspection Requirements for Demolition and Renovation Work.

Prior to performing demolition and renovation work on commercial structures and certain multi-residential structures, the law requires a thorough inspection by a certified asbestos hazard evaluation specialist.   This inspection is required even if the owner believes the structure does not contain asbestos. 

Following the inspection, a written Notification of Demolition and Renovation must be given to the Ohio EPA of the intention to demolish.  The notice is to be given on a form provided by the Ohio EPA and must be provided even if the inspection reveals that there is no regulated asbestos containing materials.

The inspection obligation, notification, and abatement obligations are imposed on both the property owner and any "operator."  An "operator" is anyone "who owns, leases, operates, controls or supervises the demolition or renovation or both."  As such an owner can be held liable if the contractor it hires to perform the demolition fails to have the proper inspection completed, fails to timely submit a demolition notification, or fails to properly perform asbestos abatement.  Likewise, a demolition contractor that relies on the owner to conduct the asbestos inspection and to submit the demolition notification can be held responsible for the owner's failure to properly do so.

Whether or not asbestos abatement must be performed depends on the amount and type of asbestos containing materials found in the structure.   Abatement must be performed when the inspection shows that the combined amount of regulated  asbestos-containing material is greater that (1) 260 linear feet on pipes, (2) 160 square feet of other materials, or (3) 35 cubic feet of materials where length or area could not be measured.

If the inspection shows that there is no asbestos or that the amount of the regulated asbestos-containing materials is less than these minimums, no abatement must be performed.  However, the owner and/or operator are still required to submit the Notification of Demolition and Renovation.

A failure to comply with the asbestos inspection, demolition notification, and asbestos abatement procedures (when required) can subject the owner and the operator to an injunction action by the Ohio Attorney General's office, civil and criminal penalties up to $25,000/day of violation, and imprisonment for a term up to one year.  There is a six year statute of limitations for the commencement of an action by the attorney general's office to impose a civil penalty.

 

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