Alabama (AL) Asbestos Removal & Abatement Resources:

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is responsible for implementing all major federal environmental rules and regulations with regards to the safe removal of asbestos from renovations or demolition operations.

Asbestos Abatement Guidelines

In the state of Alabama, the owner or operator of an asbestos site is responsible for ensuring that the contractors hired for the removal are properly certified by ADEM. Proper certification requires that contractors submit an application for certification, including lists of supervisors and workers with their accreditation numbers, demonstrating their completion of a state-approved accreditation program; a list of any asbestos removal operations performed by the party within the last 12 month period; and a written statement that the principle person understands all state regulations with regard to asbestos removal, accompanied by a promise that said person will abide by those regulations. The application for certification must be completed annually to maintain certified status, and a copy of the current certification must be kept available at each removal site. Annual accreditation for supervisors and workers is also mandated for continuing certification (1).

ADEM requires proper completion of an accreditation program for all supervisors and workers involved in the removal or abatement of asbestos containing products. All courses designed to train workers, supervisors, inspectors, management planners, and project designers must also be accredited by the state or federal government (2).

All personnel involved in removal or abatement of asbestos must receive initial and annual training as required by state regulations. Only trained and certified personnel may intentionally disturb asbestos for any reason, including sampling, removal, encapsulation or abatement. This includes knowingly disturbing areas or materials adjacent to asbestos (3).

Prior to any removal project, the ADEM will sample building materials with the purpose of establishing whether asbestos is present. Information regarding the sampling status will be available within the contacted organization. Any asbestos that is identified must be address by certified personnel and a written plan must be created within the project description (3).

The owner or operator of a property designated for an abatement project must consult a professional asbestos inspector to verify that the site includes asbestos containing materials. The inspector is responsible for taking samples at the site and conveying them to a federally certified laboratory for proper testing. Verification that the site is, in fact, contaminated with asbestos is necessary before an asbestos abatement project can proceed (4).

Procedures utilized by professional asbestos contractors include isolating the area where the work will be performed. The abatement area is sealed off from the remainder of the structure with plastic sheeting. All removable furniture must be cleaned and removed from the area before the asbestos is disturbed. Prior to removal, the asbestos is wet thoroughly with a low-pressure stream. This process is designed to keep the asbestos from generating dust when it is disturbed. The area, or manageable section that is to be removed, should be wet down multiple times, with time in between wettings to allow the moisture to be absorbed (4).

Montgomery County Public Schools and Alabama Asbestos Abatement

 The ADEM has worked with the Montgomery County public schools in a continuing asbestos abatement program. Montgomery County plans to renovate 13 or 14 schools this summer by removing asbestos containing building materials.

Poolesville Elementary School will be first in the program, with work slated to begin just after the school year end in June. Asbestos abatement procedures at this school will include removing floor tile and adhesives from a lounge, a storage room, and six classrooms.

Approximately half of the county’s public schools contain asbestos, and the list slated for asbestos abatement is currently incomplete, pending allocation of funding by the school district. Asbestos removal for the Montgomery County Public School system began in 1998, following the enacting of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which requires public schools to include an inventory of all asbestos containing building materials within a management plan for each building that falls under their jurisdiction. According to the Act, asbestos materials must be removed if they are damaged or pose a health risk (5).

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