Many people are aware of the dangers of asbestos. It was a commonly used material due to the fact that it is a naturally occurring mineral, is a good insulator and is resistant to corrosion and fire.
However, it is now known that asbestos exposure results in long-term illness and harm. Although the government banned its use, it is still present in older buildings and certain manufactured materials. As such, there are regulations in place to guide companies in the management and removal of asbestos.
Asbestos-related laws and regulations
The United States Environmental Protection Agency lists the number of laws that relate to asbestos, which include:
- The Clean Air Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- The Asbestos Information Act
- The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
Some of the regulations in place address concerns related to asbestos in schools, worker protection, air pollutants and hazardous substances.
According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulates asbestos and its removal. The NESHAP regulations apply to commercial building owners and contractors, and these regulations address asbestos concerns in manufacturing, milling, and fabricating businesses; waste disposal sites; demolition activities and asbestos conversion processes.
If a NESHAP inspector establishes the necessity for asbestos removal from a building, the facility owner must submit the necessary forms and a $150 fee at least 10 working days before the removal begins. There are also numerous requirements for the licensed contractor in charge of the removal.
If the owner does not submit the paperwork and fee in time, there are additional penalties or fees. Owners or contractors that violate any of the laws and regulations can face strict consequences. These may include hefty fines and even potential prison time.