Asbestos Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain rock formations, mined from open pit mines. Most of the asbestos used in the United States today comes from Canada. Three types, chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite are most commonly found in the United States. The short thin asbestos fibers released into the air are a hazard to persons who may breathe in these fibers. There is no known safe level of exposure for persons who work with asbestos or may be in the same area as an asbestos project.
Asbestos is a hazardous air pollutant that is regulated by the state and federal governments. The State of Maryland regulates how persons work with asbestos and also regulates those who train persons to work with asbestos The EPA regulations cover four asbestos activities, the first is the removal, repair, or encapsulation of asbestos-containing materials (ACM), the second is approval of asbestos training providers, the third is regulation of persons accredited to perform asbestos-related activities, and fourth is asbestos in schools.
- Asbestos abatement contractors—Companies that remove, repair, or encapsulate asbestos-containing materials (ACM) must be licensed to do this work and must be licensed before they do this work. The contractor must submit an application and pay a fee. The license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually. These regulations are in COMAR 26.11.21 Control of Asbestos.
- Asbestos training providers—Companies that provide asbestos training must submit an application and pay a fee. Course approvals are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The following initial and review courses may be approved: worker, supervisor, inspector, management planner, project designer, foreign language worker, and operations and maintenance. These regulations are in COMAR 26.11.23 Asbestos Accreditation of Individuals, and Approval of Training Courses.
- Accredited persons—Accredited persons who perform any of the activities for which they are trained must carry the Maryland Photo Identification Card. It can be issued by a Maryland-approved training provider or by the Department. The card is valid for one year.
- Asbestos in schools—We provide technical assistance for the public and private schools that are subject to the 1987 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). The schools are required to have their facilities inspected for asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) and develop a management plan for handling the ACBM. We also conduct compliance inspections in these schools and EPA Region III provides enforcement. As part of the technical assistance, we publish a quarterly newsletter, Asbestos 101.
Another important component of the program is managing asbestos activities in state facilities. The Asbestos Oversight Committee (AOC) formed as part of a 1983 Governor’s Executive Order sets policy for asbestos activities in state-owned facilities, including determining which asbestos projects qualify for AOC funds for abatement. The AOC also oversees the State Employees’ Training and Medical Monitoring Program. State employees working with asbestos receive their training from the Department (It is an approved training program.). Employees working with asbestos are required to participate in the medical monitoring program.
|Acrobat® Reader is required to view and print the PDF files. If you do not have it click on the icon to the right.