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Laws, Regulations and EPA Policy Directives

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This page describes various laws, regulations and EPA Policy Directives that govern asbestos release and exposure. More information is available on the EPA Asbestos Home Page

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Laws and Regulations

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm

Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs)

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

Clean Water Act (CWA)

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

Clean Air Act (CAA)

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

1982 Asbestos in School Rule

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA)

Asbestos Ban and Phase-out Rule of 1989 (ABPO) (REMANDED)

Federal Mine Safety and Health Act

Occupational Safety and Health Act

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Table of Laws and Regulations

The following table is provided as a quick-reference guide to determine the applicability of each law and regulation under various asbestos exposure scenarios.

Applicable Law or Regulation
Asbestos release, or threat of release, at a Superfund site
If released into a water source
If airborne release occurs
Asbestos generation, manufacture, transportation, treatment, storage, and/or disposal
Discharge into a water source
If at a Superfund site
Demolition and renovation of asbestos-containing materials and/or buildings
If at a Superfund site
Asbestos conversion processes
Asbestos present in school buildings
Protection for employees performing asbestos abatement and/or construction work
Mine accidents, safety standards, and hazardous conditions

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National Directives

This section is designed to provide On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) and Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) with a comprehensive record of Agency directives and policies related to asbestos.

The directives and policies are organized by EPA Office.

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Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)

  • Transmittal of Framework for Investigating Asbestos-Contaminated Superfund Sites (PDF) (3 pp, 399K) OSWER Directive 9200.0-68, September 2008.
    The purpose of this memorandum is to transmit the document: Framework for Investigating Asbestos-Contaminated Superfund Sites (Framework). The Framework provides guidance for assessing sites contaminated with asbestos that are being addressed under the authority of Superfund.

  • Framework for Investigating Asbestos-Contaminated Superfund Sites (PDF) (71 pp, 849K) OSWER Directive 9200.0-68, September 2008.
    This Framework implements the August 2004 Directive by recommending a risk-based, site-specific approach for site evaluation based on current asbestos science. This guidance provides a recommended flexible framework for investigating and evaluating asbestos contamination at Superfund removal and remedial sites. This document also provides remedial/removal managers, remedial project managers, on-scene coordinators, site assessors, and other decision makers with information that should assist in the evaluation of asbestos risks at Superfund sites, along with information to facilitate sites decisions under conditions of incomplete characterization and to accommodate the varied nature of environmental asbestos contamination.

  • Vermiculite Ore Asbestos Sites: Evaluating Potential Indoor Residential Contamination (PDF) (4pp, 1.7MB) Deborah Dietrich October 3, 2006.
    The purpose of this memorandum is to provide EPA Regions with guidance for conducting
    removal site evaluations at residential asbestos contamination sites. Specifically, the guidance
    addresses potential indoor residential asbestos contamination associated with vermiculite ore
    from Libby, MT.

  • Clarifying Cleanup Goals and Identification of New Assessment Tools for Evaluating Asbestos at Superfund Cleanups (Michael B. Cook – August 10, 2004) OSWER Directive 9345.4-05 (PDF) (4pp, 120 KB)
    The purpose of this memo is twofold. The first purpose is to clarify that Regions should develop risk-based, site-specific action levels to determine if response actions should be taken when materials containing less than 1 percent asbestos are found on a site. Regions should not assume that materials containing less than 1 percent asbestos do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health. The second purpose is to outline some activities underway to assist in the evaluation of asbestos risks at Superfund sites.
  • Potential Asbestos Contamination at Mines and Processing Facilities (Stephen D. Luftig – February 18, 2000) OSWER Directive 9345.04P
    This directive requests regions to develop preliminary assessment plans and initiate assessments at those vermiculite mines and processing facilities identified in the directive. Guidelines for developing preliminary assessments, and for investigating the potential asbestos contamination at these sites are outlined in the directive.
  • Potential Asbestos Contamination at Mines and Processing Facilities (Larry Reed – July 6, 2000) OSWER Directive 9345.04P-B
    This document addresses the procedures for gathering and analyzing sample data from mines and processing facilities with potential asbestos contamination.
  • Potential Asbestos Contamination at Mines and Processing Facilities – Clarification (Larry G. Reed – July 24, 2000) OSWER Directive 9345.04P-C
    This memo clarifies the sampling and analysis information discussed in the July 6, 2000 memorandum. Regions should use QA/QC procedures to ensure that the sampling and analytical techniques provide appropriate collection and preparation techniques, and that the samples are analyzed using field tested methods. Furthermore, the EPA Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (OERR) has identified additional testing methods that can be used in the analysis of bulk and soil samples.
  • Site Evaluation Plan for Potential Asbestos Contamination at Vermiculite Facilities (Stephen D. Luftig – April 4, 2000) OSWER Directive 9345.04P-A
    This plan provides the strategy to investigate potential asbestos contamination of vermiculite ore facility sites, consistent with standard Superfund site evaluation procedures. The plan incorporates preliminary site evaluation plans which were submitted to the Office of Emergency and remedial Response (OERR) by the ten EPA Regional offices. Regions should use the plan to update their site evaluation plans and initiate assessment activities.

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