This topic discusses some of the asbestos regulations that relate to public and commercial building owners and contractors. It also provides some options in dealing with ACMs. Please note various asbestos regulations apply to each asbestos situation. Asbestos regulations that apply to public and commercial buildings differ slightly from those that apply to schools, residential dwellings, and other buildings. The intent of asbestos regulations is to prevent asbestos releases and exposures. Contact the ACP, EPA, or OSHA for more information.
In Montana, activities involving asbestos in buildings are governed by one or more regulatory authorities, i.e. State of Montana DEQ, Federal EPA, and OSHA; in many cases jurisdictions and regulations overlap.
The DEQ ACP regulates and permits asbestos abatement projects, accredits asbestos-related occupations, approves and audits asbestos training course providers, provides compliance assistance, and administers certain sections of the EPA's NESHAP regulation. The ACP regulates asbestos abatement activities involving three (3) or more square or linear feet of regulated ACM. Asbestos abatement activities must be permitted through the ACP and must be conducted by accredited asbestos personnel following proper asbestos inspection, abatement, transportation, and disposal procedures. Generally speaking, the ACP regulates asbestos projects, building demolition, and building renovation activities that occur in facilities such as any institutional, commercial, public, industrial, or residential structure, installation, or building (including any structure, installation, or building excluding residential buildings having four or fewer dwelling units).
Most of the asbestos activity in Montana involves building renovation and demolition activities. In order to determine which requirements apply to a building owner or contractor of a renovation or demolition, an asbestos inspection is required. An asbestos inspection not only locates, quantifies, and assesses the condition of asbestos, it also provides information as to whether an ACM is regulated and regulated by which authority. According to EPA and ACP regulations, an asbestos inspector accredited, or licensed, by the ACP must perform the asbestos inspection. Typically, samples of suspect ACMs are collected by the inspector for laboratory analysis. Sample analytical costs range from $15-30/sample. ACP regulations require sample analysis be done by a laboratory approved by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In some cases it can be assumed a material contains asbestos, saving an owner some money. The ACP maintains a list of accredited and approved asbestos inspectors and laboratories available for your reference. Contact them for specific inspection information.
In a demolition or renovation where ACM is identified by the asbestos inspection, the regulated ACM would need to be removed by an accredited asbestos project contractor following proper asbestos removal procedures under an asbestos project permit issued by the ACP. The building owner or asbestos project contractor would apply for the permit using a form available from the ACP called the Application for a Montana Asbestos Project Permit and NESHAP Demolition/Renovation Notification. A permit fee based on the asbestos project contract volume would apply. A ten (10) working day notification period would also apply.
In a demolition where ACM will be left in place and not be impacted by the demolition activities or no regulated ACM is identified by the asbestos inspection, the owner or demolition contractor must notify the ACP of the demolition using the same form as above. No fee applies to demolition notifications where ACM left in place will not be impacted by the demolition activities or no regulated ACM is identified; however, a ten (10) day demolition notification period applies.
In a renovation where no ACM is present, as identified by the asbestos inspection, no notification to the ACP is required.
Even though the Department is delegated by EPA to administer the NESHAP in Montana, EPA is also active in Montana regulating asbestos in private and public kindergarten through 12th grade schools, Native American Nations, and other buildings. Montana is part of EPA's Region VIII along with North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. EPA's Asbestos Hotline can be reached at (800) 368-5888.
Another asbestos authority is Federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). OSHA regulates worker safety and health as they relate to asbestos in the general and construction industries. Prior to initiating construction activities, OSHA's asbestos standard (29 CFR 1926.1101) also requires an asbestos inspection as part of its hazard communication requirement. For more complete information on OSHA's regulatory requirements, contact OSHA at (800) 321-6742, or in Billings at (406) 247-7494.
City or county governments such as local building permitting offices or local environmental health or sanitarian offices may also have asbestos requirements, contact them before initiating demolition or renovation work. City or county governments issue building permits for general renovation/demolition activities; however, don't be tricked assuming that their permit will satisfy the ACP's asbestos inspection, project permit, and demolition/renovation notification requirements.
One last asbestos authority is the landfill. Prior to initiating asbestos work, contact your local landfill and learn about their asbestos disposal requirements. In many cases landfills do not accept ACM and the last place you want to learn that is at a landfill's gate. According to State of Montana Refuse Disposal Rules and the ACP, regulated asbestos-containing waste must be disposed of in a State-approved Class II landfill.