Oversight of Ohio’s Asbestos Program Transferred to Ohio EPA
As part of our ongoing commitment to keeping our clients up to date with the ever-changing regulatory environment, Taft’s Construction practice has compiled the following summary as a reminder of Ohio’s regulated Asbestos Program requirements, as well as other accompanying changes that may affect your business or impact your clients.
Effective Jan. 1, 2018, authority for overseeing Ohio’s Asbestos Program was transferred from the Ohio Department of Health (“ODH”) to the Ohio EPA’s Division of Air Pollution Control. The Asbestos Program transfer includes the transfer of the former ODH regulations to the Ohio EPA (now located at Ohio Admin. Code Chapter 3745-22) and reassignment of all aspects of the Asbestos Program regulating asbestos hazard abatement contractors, specialists, project designers, workers, training courses and other professionals previously regulated by the ODH. While the majority of the Asbestos Program requirements remain the same, there are a few notable changes:
- All fees must now be paid at the time a form is submitted.
- You may submit a combined 10-day notification form for demolition and renovation projects (discussed more below) for multiple project locations that: (i) are in the same county, (ii) are for the same owner and (iii) use the same contractors.
- The Ohio EPA will implement new software to submit online notification forms in the Ohio EPA’s ebusiness center on Jan. 26, 2018. A training session covering the new software will be held on Jan. 25.
- All other forms may be submitted through the Ohio EPA’s ebusiness center beginning summer 2018.
- Any hard copy forms must now be sent to the Ohio EPA’s central office.
- The Ohio EPA and local air quality agencies are now responsible for conducting inspections to assess compliance with the merged Asbestos Program.
- The Ohio EPA will have the authority to suspend and revoke licenses (rather than the ODH).
Importantly, the transfer of authority to the Ohio EPA does not change the 10-day notification requirement for demolition and renovation projects. As a refresher, owners, operators or asbestos abatement contractors must submit a notification form to the Ohio EPA at least 10 working days prior to the start of:
- Every demolition of a facility, regardless of whether asbestos is involved (including all structures intentionally burned for fire training purposes).
- A renovation, when the amount of regulated asbestos containing material (“RACM”) stripped, removed, dislodged, cut, drilled or similarly disturbed exceeds: (i) 260 linear feet on pipes, (ii) 160 square feet on other facility components or (iii) 35 cubic feet off facility components.
- An abatement, when the activity involves the removal, renovation, enclosure, repair or encapsulation of friable asbestos-containing material in an amount greater than 50 linear feet on pipes or 50 square feet on other facility components.
The notification requirement applies to facility owners, lessees and contractors. Accordingly, contractors should ensure that any required 10-day notification form has been filed with the Ohio EPA prior to beginning a demolition project or a renovation project that exceeds the RACM thresholds noted above.
Please note that while you will soon be able to submit the 10-day notification form online through the Ohio EPA’s ebusiness center, the software will not be implemented until Jan. 26. Any notices sent prior to that date must be sent via hard copy and must be postmarked or hand delivered to the Ohio EPA at least 10 working days prior to the start of operations, at one of the following addresses:
Ohio EPA, DAPC
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Ohio EPA, DAPC
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215
Revised notifications must still be submitted for any change that renders information in the initial notification inaccurate, such as: (i) if the amount of RACM changes by at least 20 percent, (ii) changes in work schedules (dates or hours), (iii) any change in owner or operator, (iv) a change in the asbestos hazard abatement specialist onsite or (v) any change in the name or location of a selected waste disposal site. Revised notifications must be submitted no later than one working day following discovery of the change.
The fee schedule for notifications will remain the same ($75 for each demolition/renovation notification, plus $3 per unit of asbestos removed and/or $4 per cubic yard of asbestos cleaned up), with two exceptions:
- Notifications for a demolition project with no asbestos present will be charged the $75 notification fee.
- The $75 notification fee will only be charged one time per form for forms listing more than one project.
More information regarding the transfer of the Asbestos Program and other changes may be found at the Ohio EPA’s Asbestos Program website.
Please contact a member of Taft’s Construction practice for advice on complying with the new Asbestos Program and what it means for you and your business.
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