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    The Asbestos Program is within the Division for Regulatory Services
    P. O. Box 149347
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    (512) 834-6770.




    External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.


Publications and Helpful Information - Asbestos Program

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Skip to:  Asbestos Homeowner's Guide | Policy Letters


Asbestos Homeowner's Guide

The Asbestos Program of the Texas Department of State Health Service (DSHS), regulates the removal of asbestos from public buildings within the state. The two main sets of rules and regulations enforced by DSHS are the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (TAHPR) and the Federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). TAHPR applies to all buildings that are subject to public occupancy, or to which the general public has access, and to all persons disturbing, removing, encapsulating, or enclosing asbestos within public buildings for any purpose, including repair, renovation, dismantling, demolition, installations, or maintenance operations, or any other activity that may involve the disturbance or removal of asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) whether intentional or unintentional. NESHAP applies to the abatement of any friable ACBM or to the demolition of a facility. Private residences and apartment buildings with no more than four dwelling units are excluded from coverage by both rules. (Click here for more information: Exclusions)

Single residences (fourplex or smaller) are exempt from state and federal asbestos regulations if the property continues to be used as a single residence after the demolition or renovation. DSHS however, recommends that a home owner use licensed persons to perform any removal of ACBM. A list of currently licensed contractors and consultants can be obtained from DSHSt or, in the larger cities, they can typically be found under "asbestos" in the yellow pages of the telephone book. These persons have had the proper training in the removal of ACBM and will be able to guide and advise you.

The most important precaution to apply to the removal of any asbestos containing material is to prevent breakage. Floor tile and mastic should NEVER be sanded and should be removed in a wet condition. Roof shingles and siding should be removed in whole pieces.

Locations where asbestos-containing building materials may be found in a home are: insulation, ceiling tile, wallboard, duct work, flooring and roofing and exterior siding. The most commonly used asbestos-containing building materials in a residence are floor tile and mastic, roof shingles and exterior siding.

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Asbestos Policy Letters

 

295.34 - #1 UTILITY WORK IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS
295.34(d) - #1 ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS
295.61(a) - #2 NOTIFICATION OF PHASED PROJECTS
295.61(h) - #1 RECOGNITION OF EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION

October 17, 1996

RE: POLICY LETTER 295.34 - #1, UTILITY WORK IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS

(This policy replaces all previous policies and/or guidelines relating to this subject.)

(This is not a revision, only Division name change)

The intent of this policy letter is to clarify the regulations regarding the possible disturbance of asbestos-containing material during utility work and the responsibility for that activity by the building owner.

The building owner has the responsibility for the presence, condition, disturbance, renovation, demolition, and disposal of any asbestos encountered in the construction, operations, maintenance, or furnishing of that building or facility. 

  • When any utility work is to take place that might disturb asbestos-containing material, the building owner has two options. These are either:
    • Have the affected asbestos-containing material removed by a licensed person prior to the work of a utility contractor, or
    • Require the utility contractor to be licensed to handle asbestos-containing materials.

Should you have further questions concerning building owners responsibility or any other matter concerning asbestos-containing material, please direct your questions to the Asbestos Program, MC-2835, Texas Department of State Health Services, P. O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347, (512) 834-6770 or 1-800-572-5548. Additional information and support can be obtained by calling the TDH Regional offices in your area.

Policy Letters

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December 19, 1996

RE: POLICY LETTER 295.34(d) - #1, ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS

(This policy replaces all previous policies and/or guidelines relating to this subject.)

The intent of this policy letter is to clarify the Texas regulations regarding the management of asbestos-containing material (ACM) in a public building.

The building owner has the primary responsibility for the presence, condition, disturbance, renovation, demolition, and disposal of any ACM encountered in the construction, renovation, operations, maintenance, or furnishing of that building or facility.

  • Although a building owner must follow proper procedures and use appropriately licensed persons to manage asbestos, the mere presence of asbestos does not require removal, or any other treatment, unless the asbestos is damaged or is in an area where damage may occur. The assessment of the condition of the ACM and the potential for future damage must be performed by a licensed inspector, management planner or consultant.
  • The asbestos must be addressed when demolition, renovation or operations and maintenance procedures occur, or the condition of the ACM deteriorates to the point of posing a health risk.

Should you have further questions concerning building owner responsibility or any other asbestos-containing material matter, please direct your questions to the Asbestos Program Branch, MC-2835, Texas Department of State Health Services, P. O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347, (512) 834-6770 or 1-800-572-5548. Additional information and support can be obtained by calling the Texas Department of Health Regional office in your area.

Policy Letters

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December 9, 1996

RE: POLICY LETTER 295.61(a) - #2, NOTIFICATION OF PHASED PROJECTS

(This policy replaces all previous policies and/or guidelines)

The following policy is adopted to help the regulated community comply with the intent and spirit of the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (Rules) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). This policy outlines the notification procedures for phased projects.

To be a phased project:

  • All of the abatement work must be performed at one site by one contractor. The site may contain more than one building, such as an office complex, military base, or university, but will have a single address. The total number of buildings that will be involved in the abatement project must be listed in "Description of area" in Item #4. The amount of asbestos-containing material that will be abated from all of the buildings shall be combined and the total amount listed in Item #12. 
  • There shall not be more than 30 days between the phases. If more than 30 days pass from the time of final air clearance from one phase to the start of the next phase, they are considered separate projects and a new, original notification must be submitted 10 days before the next phase. All notification procedures including those for completion dates, amendments and cancellations will still be required.

To notify:

  •  The notification form must state that the renovation will be a phased project. The appropriate block in Item #5 on the current notification form must be marked. The abatement dates in Item #16 will be the overall dates of the project (first start date and final completion date) and shall encompass no more than one calendar year. Do not submit an amendment for each phase of the project. Only amend the first and final dates as appropriate.
  • Verbal communication must be made to the appropriate Texas Department of State Health Services inspector or Local Program inspector. Keep them informed of the period of time between phases and any other times when work is not being performed. If they cannot be reached, leave a message or call the central office in Austin. The Regional offices may want a FAX in addition to a phone call.
    • Failure to comply with this policymay result in enforcement of §295.61(a) Operations: Notifications, (a) General Provision.

Questions may be directed to the regional/local program office or the central office in Austin at either (512) 834-6770 or 1-800-572-5548 (Texas only).

Policy Letters

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December 9, 1996

RE: POLICY LETTER 295.61(h) - #1, RECOGNITION OF EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION

(This policy replaces all previous policies and/or guidelines)


(Including the original unsigned version dated February 8, 1996)

There may be some misunderstanding regarding the verification of an emergency for the 10 working day requirement for asbestos abatement or building demolition notification. There have been several cases where emergency notification was requested for "financial loss if a job is shut down waiting" or "that if not allowed to start will cost the company $X."

In and of itself the foregoing does not constitute an emergency under the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act (TAHPA) or the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). If the company affected an emergency, it still must be proven by them or they will be found in violation of an improper notification. 40 CFR Subpart M, §61.141 of the NESHAP defines an emergency renovation operation as a renovation operation that was not planned but results from a sudden, unexpected event, that is necessary to avoid imposing an unreasonable financial burden. This term includes operations necessitated by nonroutine failures of equipment. Failure to plan for work, for which one could have prepared does not constitute an emergency. An inspection, by a TDH inspector will be performed to ensure the emergency is valid.

    • Examples of a valid emergency are: 1) when abatement has been performed and renovation or demolition has begun, and ACM is found in an area which could not have been known because it was hidden from view; and 2) when a boiler which provides heat to a building suddenly fails and needs immediate replacement in winter because the contents of the structure will be severely damaged without the heat, or the building must be occupied by people who have no other place to go.
    •  In cases where there appears to be a valid emergency, we request that you call the department regional or local program inspector. If the inspector concurs with your request then an emergency number will be issued, which must be listed on the subsequent notification form. If you are unable to contact the field inspector, the central office in Austin may then be contacted. When emergencies occur at times when no one can be contacted, write a full justification and attach it to the notification form to be sent to the central office in Austin in compliance with§295.61(h) of the TAHPA (1994). No approval is required, however, the burden of proof rests with the notifier.

One recent case involved a chain store in a small town in the central part of the state. The competition had gone out of business. This remaining store was the only one in easy commuting distance which could provide the service. As a result, customers were parking across the street in a parking lot at a closed store. The headquarters of the remaining store bought the property and were seeking to quickly demolish the abandoned building and repave the parking lot. Their claim for an emergency was the threat to public health of the abandoned building and that it would cost the company too much money to delay the project. It also appears that there was no survey on the building to be demolished. The request for an emergency notification was denied.

We are trying to ensure that we all are applying the policy in a uniform fashion. The report from the regional or local program inspector tells us whether or not the job is in compliance, and if not, is the basis to issue a Notice of Violation.

Questions may be directed to the regional/local program office or the central office in Austin at either (512) 834-6770 or (800) 572-5548 (Texas only).

Policy Letters

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Last updated June 03, 2011