Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Enforcement in New England

Asbestos Enforcement Program

There are a number of laws that govern how asbestos materials are to be handled in schools, public and commercial buildings, including buildings that are to be demolished or undergoing major renovations. The laws that govern asbestos management and removal under the Environmental Protection Agency include: the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (NESHAP). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates exposure to asbestos in the workplace. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has published information about the health effects that may result from exposure to asbestos.

AHERA mandated that EPA develop regulations to respond to asbestos in schools. To implement this mandate, EPA promulgated the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule. This rule requires all private and public non-profit elementary and secondary schools to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing materials (ACBM), develop a plan to manage the asbestos for each school building, notify parents and staff regarding the management plan availability, provide asbestos awareness training to school maintenance and custodial workers, and implement timely actions to deal with dangerous asbestos situations.

ASHARA, passed in 1990, required accreditation of personnel working on asbestos activities in schools, public and commercial buildings. Specifically, the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (40 CFR Part 763, Appendix C) required the use of accredited inspectors, workers, supervisors, project designers, and management planners (schools only) when conducting asbestos activities at schools, public and commercial buildings. EPA strongly recommends that asbestos-related activities conducted at public and commercial buildings follow the protocol for management and removal of asbestos-containing materials described in the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule (40 CFR part 763).

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (NESHAP), under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, establishes work practices to minimize the release of asbestos fibers during activities involving the processing, handling, and disposal of asbestos and asbestos-containing material when a building is being demolished or renovated. The requirements and standards are described in 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M.

Jump to main content.