Breathing, of course, is common to everyone, so it makes sense that our most common concern is probably the quality of the air we inhale. Federal and state governments, too, are concerned about pollutants that can injure health and harm the environment.
In order achieve and maintain the best possible air quality, the EPA regulates air quality under the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1972 and the CAA Amendments of 1990. Under this law, the EPA has set limits for pollutant emissions throughout the United States. These regulations are designed to protect air quality from harmful smog-forming pollutants, carbon monoxide and particulates (asbestos, soot, dust and smoke). This section of the tour covers these asbestos issues as they pertain to air quality within your school’s residential facility:
- Standards for Building Demolition and Renovation: These federal regulations apply to owners/operators of structures undergoing demolition and/or renovation activities. They include notification requirements and procedures for asbestos emission control. (See 40 CFR 61.145.)
- Requirements for Removal and Disposal of Asbestos: These regulations are specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and apply to individuals performing asbestos-related activities. These activities include demolition, renovation, installation, re-installation, handling, transportation, storage or disposal at any component of a facility that contains asbestos, asbestos-containing material (ACM) or asbestos-containing waste material in a manner that causes or contributes to a condition of air pollution. The regulations include notification requirements and procedures for asbestos emission control. (See 310 CMR 7.15.)
- Requirements for Dust, Odor, Construction and Demolition: These regulations, too, are specific to the State of Massachusetts and apply to individuals involved with dust- or odor-generating operations that may occur during construction or demolition work. (See 310 CMR 7.09.)
- National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): In accordance with Section 112 of the CAA, EPA established NESHAP to protect the public from hazardous air pollutants, asbestos being one of them. The intention of the asbestos regulations of NESHAP is to minimize the release of asbestos fibers during activities that involve processing, handling or disposing asbestos-containing material (ACM). NESHAP standards for asbestos specify work practices to be followed during demolitions and renovations of all structures, installations and buildings.
Continue on through this section to learn more about regulatory requirements related to asbestos.