Asbestos (Demolition and Renovation)

The District recently received delegation approval from the EPA to take responsibility for overseeing compliance with the Demolition/Renovation Asbestos NESHAP.  The District will begin processing notifications and surveys beginning January 1, 2024.

Breathing airborne asbestos fibers can cause serious health effects, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and risk of lung cancer. Asbestos is found in many building materials, including drywall, insulation, tiles, popcorn ceiling treatment and more. Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.  Before hiring a contractor to perform any demolition or renovation work, you can check to make sure they are registered with Cal/OSHA; the State of California requires registration for contractors and employers that remove asbestos having an asbestos fiber content of more than 0.1% and 100 square feet or more of surface area of asbestos-containing material – see https://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/doshacru/acrulist.asp for more information.

Are you demolishing or renovating a single residential building not used for commercial purposes? The requirements below do not apply to you, however the District recommends that you take measures to protect yourself and others from exposure to asbestos (Information from the US EPA).  For outdoor ground-disturbing activities in areas that contain Naturally-Occurring Asbestos (NOA), please see the District’s NOA webpage for requirements.
If you are demolishing or renovating a commercial, institutional, or industrial building, or a residential building with five (5) or more units, the requirements below apply. Renovations where the total amount of material disturbed is less than 160 square feet, less than 260 linear feet (for pipes), or less than 35 cubic feet are exempt.

District Regulations

The Butte County Air Quality Management District has historically been one of several air districts in the state of California that has been “non-delegated” to enforce the Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).  Non-delegated air districts are being transitioned to implement and enforce the applicable Asbestos NESHAP Air Toxic Control Measure requirements as the California Air Resources Board is no longer is providing oversight for the program.

The Butte County Air Quality Management District recently adopted regulations governing asbestos testing, surveying and removal. Rule 516 sets the fee schedule for our asbestos program and Rule 270 sets the regulations on testing, surveying and removal of potential asbestos-containing materials.


Step 1: Questionnaire

When applying for a building permit with your local jurisdiction, the applicant must first complete an Air District Questionnaire, provided by the building department having jurisdiction over the area where the project is located. The building department will forward the applicant’s completed Questionnaire to the District.

District staff will review your questionnaire to determine if the proposed project is regulated or exempt. The District will then notify the applicant and the local jurisdiction if the project is exempt, or if the project is regulated and additional requirements apply.

Step 2: Asbestos Survey

If a project is not exempt, before any work begins, the building owner or operator must have a thorough asbestos survey performed on the project site. This survey must be completed by a Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC) or Certified Site Surveillance Technician (CSST) licensed by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and who has taken an EPA-approved Building Inspector course.

  • See a list of local testing and abatement companies (link takes visitors to a document containing local asbestos abatement contractors and testors, perhaps from the outreach list being developed?)
  • Find a licensed CAC/CSST. 
  • Advisory on asbestos survey requirements.

If there is asbestos present (more than 0.1% and 100 square feet or more), contractors and employers that remove asbestos must be registered with Cal/OSHA, through the Asbestos Contractors’ Registration Unit (ACRU) .

Applicable fees per District Rule 516- Asbestos Demolition and Renovation Fees and the District’s fee schedule are due upon submittal of the survey to the District. To ensure prompt review of your survey once complete, please remit appropriate fees along with the survey report.


Step 3: Asbestos Notification Form

For all demolitions and any renovations that will disturb Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material (RACM) of at least 160 square feet, 260 linear feet (on pipe) or 35 cubic feet, you must submit a District Asbestos Demolition/Renovation Notification Form along with a copy of the survey and the proper fees to the District as listed in District Rule 516.


Submittal Options

Survey reports and notification forms can be dropped off in person (Counter hours Tuesday-Friday, 7:30-12), mailed (629 Entler Avenue, Suite 15, Chico, CA 95928) or emailed (asbestos@bcaqmd.org). Fees can be paid in person (check, cash or credit card), by mail (check only) or online using the District’s payment system. There are processing fees to pay by credit card online or in person.

Notification Period

There is a mandatory 10 working day notification period that begins once the survey report (Step 2), notification form (Step 3) and all required fees are submitted to the District.

Enforcement

Property owners and any person(s) who controls, supervises or performs demolition or renovation activities out of compliance can be directly liable for penalties up to $75,000 per day.

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