News Releases from Region 4
EPA Enforcement of Clean Air Act Asbestos Regulations in Georgia
Release Date: 03/20/2009
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Atlanta, Ga. – Mar. 20, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has assumed the responsibility for implementation of provisions of the Clean Air Act Asbestos Program in Georgia. Because of budget constraints, Georgia has discontinued asbestos inspections, complaint follow-up, and enforcement. By mutual agreement between Georgia and EPA, the State will continue to process notifications for asbestos renovation, encapsulation and/or demolition, issue asbestos contractor licenses, and approve asbestos supervisor training courses. EPA will conduct inspections and enforcement of asbestos abatement renovation, disposal, and demolition projects for commercial, public, industrial and certain types of multi-family residential structures.
EPA has established programs to collect information related to the asbestos violations. When necessary, EPA will pursue federal enforcement in cases where violations are found. The law allows for fines of up to $37,500 per day, for each violation.
Asbestos exposure has a direct, and substantially adverse, impact on human health. EPA’s requirements for working with asbestos are those found in the Clean Air Act’s National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Asbestos. These regulations are designed to minimize exposure to asbestos. It is essential for these regulations to be enforced in every state.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older buildings, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.
High concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air increasing asbestos levels and endangering people occupying these structures.
For information about asbestos and asbestos removal, call 404-562-9221 or email Asbestos.R4@epa.gov.