What's The Big Deal?
Asbestos has been linked to several forms of cancer and debilitating respiratory diseases If improperly handled, it can drain a company or municipality of assets due to lawsuits. In the 1980's, the state of Georgia enacted laws to protect the health of anyone coming in contact with this carcinogen. The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is responsible for enforcing these laws. The regulations specifically target activities that have the greatest potential for exposing people; such as demolition contractors, general contractors, roofers, drywall installers, and insulation companies, just to name a few. It is in the best interest of anyone that may take on such demo or major renovation projects to hire a knowledgeable firm to consult with them about the rules and regulations that are applicable prior to the project's inception. The EPD takes regulatory responsibility very serious, and will not hesitate to vigorously enforce the asbestos regulations. The Penalties allow up to $25,000 per day for each violation.
What Should A Municipality or Company Do?
First, you must get an asbestos survey done by an accredited AHERA inspector licensed by your prospective state. The suspect Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) must be tested by an accredited lab normally using PLM microscopy methods. After the results are determined, the licensed inspector will provide you with a copy of such. The copy should include pictures, locations, and quantities of the ACM, a chain of custody report, and the laboratory tests as well. Also, it should contain information as to what type of asbestos and the percentage. Chrysotile and Amosite are the most common forms of asbestos; However, there are many more forms, and the law is quite clear on removal and disposal of this material. Second, The ACM has to be abated by a licensed abatement contractor. This process is normally done in friable or non-friable conditions. If abated in friable conditions, normally containment areas, wetting agents, and negative air machines must be used to adhere to the provisions set forth by the EPD. The abatement contractor should be responsible for making sure all the manifest records for waste disposal is made privilege to you no longer than 30 days after hazardous land filling. Third, after you've received a clean bill of health, the demolition contractor must file a 10 day projects notification with the EPD prior to demolition, and you should keep all paperwork (i.e. surveys, manifests, and notifications) in a safe place for your records in case of environmental recourse.
Other Things You Should Know!
There are other laws and regulations that are enforced by the Dept. of Natural Resources, OSHA and the Dept. of Transportation; such as, National Emission Standards of Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), erosion control accountability, job safety protocol, and road disturbance. We want to keep you safe, and protect your assets from some of the aforementioned. Please call us for a consultation, because as it has been said many times in a court of law: IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE TO THE LAW!