Asbestos is a name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals including chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and tremolite. Asbestos has been used in a variety of products for purposes of reinforcement, heat and cold insulation, friction, fire protection, sound dampening, decoration, texturing, chemical resistance, and other applications. Asbestos is a health hazard and causes asbestos-related illnesses. (See "FAQ's About Asbestos.")
In 1989, the Montana Legislature identified the need for state-specific asbestos regulation. To prevent unnecessary public exposure to asbestos, the Asbestos Control Program (ACP) was established to regulate and establish criteria for asbestos projects and training/accreditation.
As delegated by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the ACP administers sections of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations, governing building renovations/demolitions, asbestos disposal and other asbestos-related activities. EPA maintains jurisdiction over asbestos in schools in Montana and the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) enforces its asbestos standards in the construction industry.
"Asbestos project" means the encapsulation, enclosure, removal, repair, renovation, placement in new construction, demolition of asbestos in a building or other structure, or the transportation or disposal of asbestos-containing waste. The term does not include a project that involves less than ten square feet in surface area, three linear feet of pipe or three cubic feet of other material. Asbestos projects require project permits, the use of accredited personnel and proper project control measures.
The regulated community of the Asbestos Control Program includes personnel accredited in an asbestos-related occupation (worker, contractor/supervisor, inspector, project designer and management planner), consultants, contractors, and commercial building owners.
Currently, there are two full time employees in the Asbestos Control Program. The Program is funded by fees collected from the issuance of asbestos project permits, accreditations, inspections, course reviews/approvals and audits, and the EPA.