Thursday, November 15, 2007

Handling Nonfriable Asbestos Waste in New York State

We recently had a question regarding how to handle nonfriable asbestos wastes (roofing materials, vinyl floor tiles, asbestos cement pipe) in New York State. The first regulations we need to review is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations, in particular the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs). NESHAPs is the regulation that regulates asbestos waste disposal on the federal level. NESHAPs would separate asbestos waste into three categories, the first category would be regulated asbestos containing materials (RACM); all friable asbestos containing materials are RACM. The second and third categories would be nonfriable organically bound materials (e.g. roofing materials and vinyl floor tiles) are Category 1 nonfriable asbestos waste and other nonfriable asbestos waste (e.g. cement pipe and transite) would be Category 2 nonfriable asbestos waste. Assuming these last two categories do not become friable during the removal, EPA NESHAPS would not regulate the disposal of these materials. Leaving the responsibility to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to regulate these materials. On January 25, 1985, NYSDEC issued a policy memorandum (for a copy of the NYSDEC memo follow the link on the title to our discussion group) regarding asbestos waste. This memo states that regulated asbestos waste includes friable asbestos material waste (Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM) under EPA NESHAPS) and control device asbestos waste. Control device asbestos waste is defined as any asbestos containing waste material that is collected in a pollution control device. Other asbestos containing waste shall be treated as construction and demolition debris.

This leaves us to decide what a pollution control device is? My view is that a pollution control device would be an asbestos labeled waste bags (as seen in the photo above) or drums. As long as you do not place nonfriable category 1 or 2 asbestos containing waste (assuming that during the removal you did not make the materials friable) into an asbestos labeled bag or drum, the waste can be disposed of as construction and demolition debris in New York State. If you have a differing opinion, please comment below or send me an email and we will post it here and in our discussion group.

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