SCAQMD Update Expected for Asbestos Regulations for Renovations and Demolition

South Coast Air Quality Management (SCAQMD) District Rule 1403 sets forth regulations related to the removal and disposal of asbestos for demolition and renovation activities, as well as operations of building owners (both commercial and residential, with some exceptions for residences).

SCAQMD is poised to release a new version of this Rule following a considerable effort to get a better understanding of the challenges facing the renovation and demolition industries. This included multiple public workshops with various stakeholders and a public meeting. Members of the NV5 Building Science team participated in these public workshops.

Some of the major anticipated changes will incorporate:

  • Increasing the minimum number of samples which must be collected during an inspection,
  • Increasing reporting requirements regarding the condition of asbestos containing materials,
  • Inclusion of the name of the inspector/or firm who completed the building inspection, and
  • Enhancing requirements for emergency for handling unanticipated releases of asbestos.

Additional information (unrelated to proposed changes to Rule 1403) on asbestos demolition and renovation involves the following:

No Cut-Off Date: According to the USEPA there is no cut-off date for construction date for buildings needing/not needing asbestos inspections prior to renovation and/or demolition. While in the past, it was believed that “newer” construction was exempt from asbestos survey requirements, there is no such exemption. “Regardless of the date of the building construction,” an inspection and sampling must be conducted to determine asbestos content of suspect materials prior to being disturbed. Relying on safety data sheets, specifications, and material cut sheets is not permitted.

For schools falling under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) and its subsequent amendments certain sampling, reporting, and record keeping requirements may not apply; however, those exemptions do not apply to renovation and demolition activities.