Virginia (VA) Asbestos Removal & Abatement Resources:

In the state of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) regulates asbestos abatement and removal through enforcement of the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) regulations, enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS), and enforcement of the Asbestos Notification regulations found in the Labor Laws of Virginia (§40.1-51.20).

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) is responsible for all company and individual licensure in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for the regulation of landfills in Virginia. The state of Virginia draws a distinction between friable and non-friable asbestos, and defines friable asbestos as material that can be crumbled through normal hand pressure. The Virginia DOLI has taken steps to protect workers and the public against asbestos contamination through the release of fibers into the air from friable asbestos.

Asbestos Abatement Guidelines

An owner or operator planning the abatement or removal of asbestos containing material must notify the Virginia DOLI. Under Virginia regulations, a notification is required for any asbestos abatement project greater than ten linear or ten square feet. Notifications are also required for essentially all demolition projects, regardless of whether asbestos containing materials are not present in the structure.

A notification is not required for non-friable asbestos containing material, roofing, flooring and siding materials which when installed, encapsulated or removed do not become friable. If the material is in good shape and removed using OSHA's compliant work practices, then notification is not generally required. If the material is not in good shape, the matrix binding the asbestos fibers has deteriorated, or mechanical means are used to remove the material, resulting in more than incidental breakage, then notification is required. Activities such as grinding, mechanical chipping, sawing or drilling can render the asbestos containing material friable, and would require notification. Demolition of residential structures that do not meet the NESHAPS definition of facility does not require notification.

Any asbestos abatement or removal project must submit a notification form to the Virginia DOLI. An asbestos project permit fee must be submitted with the completed project notification for non-residential structures. Notification of an asbestos abatement or removal project must be received by the DOLI within 10 working days of the start of the project. The DOLI will generally issue the permit within seven working days of the receipt of the completed notification form and permit fee. The notification does not become effective until a complete form is submitted and the proper permit fee is enclosed with the completed form or the credit card payment has been approved. An amended notification must be submitted when certain information on the asbestos form is changed.

A complete waiver of the 20-calendar or 10-working day reporting period may be granted only under conditions constituting an emergency involving protection of life, health or property, including but not limited to: leaking or ruptured pipes; accidentally damaged or fallen asbestos that could expose non-asbestos workers or the public; unplanned mechanical outages or repairs essential to a work process that requires asbestos removal and could only be safely removed during the mechanical outage. The notification and any applicable fees must be submitted within five working days after the start of the emergency abatement. A detailed description of the emergency must be included when filing an emergency notification.

A partial waiver of the reporting period may be granted if there are circumstances that prevented the timely notification of this project and specific hardships which are created by the required reporting period. A detailed statement signed by the facility owner explaining such circumstances should accompany the notification. The statement should include dates the project was planned, dates the facility was inspected and any pertinent information on the inspection process. Any request based on financial hardship must include a complete financial statement outlining all financial aspects. If notifications are required to be sent to EPA, copies of any waiver requests should be attached to those notices.

Blanket notifications can be submitted for large-scale projects of a long duration at a single site. They are not to be used for the purpose of having an abatement contractor on call. The contractor must be engaged in an asbestos project on every workday during the notification period, excluding weekends and holidays. It does not include re-insulation of the pipes or any other non-asbestos related construction activity at the site.

These projects must also be at one site, such as a large industrial plant or an office building under renovation. Blanket notifications including multiple addresses will be accepted only where the addresses are contiguous and are under the same ownership. An example of this would be a large apartment complex where work will be done in each building. For these you must submit a work plan for the site that includes when each building will be done.

A blanket project may last no longer than one year. If the project extends longer, the owner or operator must submit another notification for the remaining period. If there is a break in the work, the asbestos contractor is required to amend the notification to show the period when the activity was suspended.

A phased notification may be used for large renovation projects that must be broken up in pieces to allow other non-abatement contractors time to work between the abatement periods. This type of project requires that the work must be performed in a single building, and the length of the project cannot exceed one calendar year. All phases of a large renovation project that involves asbestos containing material must be bid as a single project, and there can be no more than five separate phases. The dates and times for the phases must be clearly defined in the project bid notification. If the project is to run longer than one year, or have more than five phases, a separate notification must be submitted for the excess amounts.

Improper notification to the Virginia DOLI of any asbestos and or demolition project as well as failure to amend any revisions to the project dates and other required information on the original notification form may result in citations and monetary penalties.

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