Building demolitions and renovations are a common occurrence in every town and city throughout the state. Many of these buildings contain asbestos. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) aims to improve knowledge of the asbestos regulations which in turn will hopefully eliminate asbestos exposures due to improper handling. The department believes that through advising municipal and county building officials of the current requirements that must be followed, proper removal will be conducted before these buildings are scheduled for demolition or renovation.
All institutional, commercial, public and industrial structures, installations and buildings are regulated. Residential buildings, including condominiums or individual dwelling units operated as residential cooperatives, with more than four dwelling units are also regulated. Single family residences usually are exempt, unless a group of residences on the same site under the same ownership are demolished or renovated as part of a larger project, such as highway construction or building expansion. In that case, the homes are regulated. Regulated means building owners must comply with the requirements of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) when planning and performing demolition or renovation work. South Dakota has adopted the emission standards for asbestos by reference in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD) 74:36:08:02 and training requirements found in ARSD 74:31 and SDCL 34-44. Some of these requirements are:
All regulated asbestos-containing materials must be removed from a structure being demolished or renovated before any activities are carried out that would break up, dislodge or similarly disturb the materials or prevent access to materials for subsequent removal. It should be noted that many other federal and state agencies have requirements when dealing with the removal and disposal of asbestos containing materials (OSHA and the Department of Public Safety).
DANR has the authority to enforce the SD asbestos program in lieu of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Failure to comply with these requirements and any other asbestos requirements found in the statutes and administrative rules, referenced above, may result in enforcement actions and/or penalties. In some cases, individuals and companies can be prosecuted criminally. Both the building owner and the contractor share the responsibility of making sure these requirements are met.
There have been many questions from contractors and other individuals regarding the proper handling and disposal of asbestos-containing vinyl floor covering and asphalt roofing materials. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has adopted the revised National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) by reference. These federal regulations are found in 40 CFR 61, Subpart M. Under these rules, resilient floor coverings and asphalt roofing materials are defined as Category I nonfriable materials. The term "friable" means that a material can be easily crushed or reduced to powder thereby releasing asbestos fibers into the air. Nonfriable materials, such as floor tile and asphalt roofing, are not easily crumbled and are less likely to release fibers unless mishandled.
According to the current regulations, Category I nonfriable materials are not required to be handled or disposed of as regulated asbestos materials as long as they remain nonfriable during removal and handling. Also, nonfriable materials are not required to be handled by certified asbestos workers as long as they remain nonfriable.
In order to be considered nonfriable, they must not be in poor condition or made friable by sanding, cutting, grinding or abrading. The EPA has determined that the use of power tools such as pneumatic chippers or power saws will cause these materials to become friable. If they are in poor condition or are made friable during handling then they are considered regulated if more than 160 square feet of materials are disturbed. The EPA has also determined that if a rotating blade roof cutter or similar equipment is used on asbestos-containing asphalt roofing materials, the removal of 5,580 square feet or greater will create 160 square feet of regulated asbestos material, thereby making the project subject to all of the requirements of the NESHAP rules.
Any Category I materials which are not in poor condition and are not made friable during handling can be disposed of as normal waste, but may be subject to local landfill requirements. Any friable materials exceeding 160 square feet must be handled and disposed of according to all NESHAP requirements. It should be noted that OSHA has additional regulations which may apply to any asbestos projects and the EPA has additional rules regarding asbestos in schools. The OSHA regional office number is (720) 264-6550. You may also view the OSHA regional office homepage. As stated above, every landfill has the final approval of what types of materials they will accept and how they will accept them, so it is a good practice to check with the landfill operator prior to disposal of any asbestos-containing material.