Permits & Licenses Required For Asbestos Removal

Asbestos abatement is a carefully regulated industry. Asbestos abatement contractors are licensed at the state level in every state except Wyoming; Wyoming contractors are licensed at local levels. In addition, the states and in some cases local governments require various permits for each asbestos abatement project.

Homeowners always have the option of performing asbestos abatement work in their own home, but any contractor hired by the homeowner must be a licensed professional. Contractors earn their licenses through education and testing. Some states have a fairly general asbestos contractor license, but most break down the field into different categories. A perusal of the Texas Department of State Health Services, for instance, shows that there are separate licenses for asbestos abatement contractor, asbestos air monitoring technician, asbestos consultant agency, asbestos contractor supervisor, asbestos individual consultant, asbestos individual management planner, asbestos inspector, asbestos management planner, asbestos operations and maintenance contractor, asbestos operations and maintenance supervisor, asbestos project manager, asbestos training provider, and asbestos transporter (Texas Online, 2007).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of approved state accreditation programs with phone numbers for contacts who can provide more information on licensing. (U.S. EPA, 2005).   For information on particular state licensing requirements, contact your state’s Contractors License Board.

Permits for asbestos work will vary with locality, type of asbestos-containing material encountered, and amount of material. Permit requirements vary by state. Typically, notification must be given to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality or other equivalent agency. Permit fees may be calculated based on square foot of asbestos-containing material (ACM) to be abated, and permits will vary depending on whether the ACM is removed or contained. Permits will also differ depending on whether the ACM contains friable asbestos, the most hazardous type, or nonfriable. In some cases, small amounts of nonfriable ACM containment or removal may be exempt from permit requirements, and owners of a single private residence removing asbestos from their own home may be exempt.

For information on specific permit requirements and fees, contact your state’s Department of Environmental Quality or Department of Environmental Protection or equivalent agency. The U.S. EPA provides a list of these departments at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/state.htm .

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