Health District

Asbestos

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an “Acknowledgment of Asbestos Assessment”? 

The Washoe County District Board of Health Regulations Governing Air Quality Management (District Regs) 030.107 A requires asbestos sampling be performed and an Acknowledgment of Asbestos Assessment (AAA Form, formerly the Pink Slip) be obtained prior to the issuance of a building permit within the Health District’s jurisdiction.  This is the form that is issued to take to the building department (Reno, Sparks, or Washoe County) to receive a building permit.  The AAA Form will only be issued after the AQMD has verified the scope of work to be done i.e. your tenant improvement, renovation or demolition has had adequate asbestos sampling, if required.  Here is the link to the application form Acknowledgement of Asbestos Assessment.

Note: we are  no longer calling this the “pink slip” because the applicant may be printing off the assessment out of Accela One and not have pink paper.

What types of projects do the asbestos regulations apply to?

The Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) of the Washoe County Health District has been delegated the authority to implement the U.S. EPA regulations governing asbestos, specifically 40 CFR 61 Subpart M (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, NESHAP).  These federal asbestos rules apply to all demolition and/or renovation activities at all commercial facilities and multi-family residential properties with 5 or more dwelling units deemed a “facility” per Subpart M regardless of date of construction.  The regulations also apply to single family residences when they will be completely demolished to the ground.  An Acknowledgement of Asbestos Assessment (AAA Form) must be obtained from AQMD prior to the issuance of a building permit for any applicable project.

When is asbestos sampling required?

Asbestos sampling is required if the scope of work includes the disturbance or removal of any suspect asbestos containing materials greater than 20 square feet (roughly the size of a standard door way), which may include wall systems, flooring, thermal system insulation (TSI), transite materials, roofing materials and structural concrete.    The asbestos consultant will go over the scope of the project and sample all suspect materials.  AQMD will only recognize asbestos sampling performed by an AHERA certified asbestos consultant. Link to AHERA certified asbestos consultant list and Asbestos Consultants and Testing Firms.

Why does a new building have to be sampled for asbestos?

On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning most asbestos containing products in the United States. In 1991, the rule was vacated and remanded by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing, or distribution in commerce for most of the asbestos containing product categories originally covered in the 1989 final rule was overturned.  Only the bans on corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper, and flooring felt and any new uses of asbestos remained banned under the 1989 rule.  Although most asbestos containing products can still legally be manufactured, imported, processed and distributed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production and use of asbestos has declined significantly (https://toxics.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/202407697-Top-20-Asbestos-Questions). Therefore, the only way to know if a building is free of asbestos is to sample.

Do I need the Acknowledgment of Asbestos Assessment (AAA) if my scope of work includes no disturbance or removal of suspect materials? 

Yes, in this case AQMD will verify that there is no sampling required for the scope of work being proposed and the AAA form will be issued stating such. 

How do I get an Acknowledgment of Asbestos Assessment (AAA)? 

Submit to AQMD a small set of plans to show AQMD the scope of work along with the asbestos sampling report, if required, from an AHERA certified consultant along with the lab results.  The complete package from the consultant should include a clear floor plan/map showing where samples were taken, the consultants report, and lab results along with the chain of custody.  Submit these items along with a signed application to AQMD at 1001 E. Ninth St, Suite B 171, Reno, NV 89512.  You can do this before going to the building department as we will not keep your plans. The process should take about 10-15 minutes.  We will accept payments Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  You can also submit the application online via Accela One using these instructions

Why can’t I take my own samples? 

Consultants are a third party, trained and certified to identify suspect materials and how much sampling is adequate for the scope of work.  District regulations require that sampling be performed by an AHERA certified person.

Because of serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established regulations applying to building renovation and demolition in 40 CFR 61, “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants” (NESHAP). Section 030.107 of the Washoe County Air Quality Regulations incorporates these standards by reference. Renovations and demolitions at commercial, institutional, and industrial structures fall under these regulations. Renovations and demolitions at condominiums with more than four (4) living units fall under these regulations. Renovations and demolitions at apartment complexes with two or more buildings, and single apartment buildings with more than four units, fall under these regulations.

Helpful Information

Commercial Property Owners & Property Managers

Under EPA regulations, it is the responsibility of the owner or operator to ensure compliance with the NESHAP asbestos rule. EPA defines the operator as any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises the facility being demolished or renovated; any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises the demolition or renovation operation; or both. Therefore, the property owner, property management company, tenant, and contractor are all responsible for ensuring compliance with these rules.

Condominium Association Members         

As per the EPA’s Applicability Determination Index for Condominiums, Co-ops and Lofts (Control Number C71):

 “With regard to work in individual units, the responsibility should be on the condominium or co-op board to ensure that it is notified, in advance, when renovation or demolition involving asbestos will occur within a unit.”

Under EPA’s regulations it is the condominium association’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the Asbestos NESHAP rule. The condominium board is therefore responsible for communicating to each individual unit owner to establish that each unit owner acknowledges and understands their respective responsibility to comply with these rules.

Rental Property Owners & Property Managers

Under EPA regulations, it is the responsibility of the owner or operator to ensure compliance with the NESHAP asbestos rule. EPA defines the operator as any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises the facility being demolished or renovated; any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises the demolition or renovation operation; or both. Therefore, the property owner, property management company, and contractor are all responsible for ensuring compliance with these rules.

For All Regulated Facilities

Please use this checklist as a preliminary guide to make sure your commercial and/or industrial building(s) complies with asbestos regulations.

  • An asbestos inspection must be performed on all regulated structures regardless of age before renovation or demolition begins; this includes all tenant improvements, renovations, and demolitions.
  • The inspector must be licensed by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Only an asbestos contractor licensed by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration may perform asbestos removal.
  • Whenever more than the regulatory threshold of 160 square feet, 260 linear feet, or 35 cubic feet (160 ft2/260 ft/35 ft3) of regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM) will be abated or disturbed in a regulated structure/facility, a NESHAP Notification of Asbestos Abatement form must be submitted to Washoe County Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) at least 10 working days before abatement begins.
  • If RACM is to be abated or disturbed in a regulated structure/facility from which more than 160 ft2 /260 ft / 35 ft3 of RACM has been previously abated in the same calendar year, then a NESHAP Notification of Asbestos Abatement will be required regardless of the amount to be abated.
    • For example, if 170 square feet of RACM has been removed from a regulated structure/facility on March 1, 2017, and 40 square feet of RACM will be abated on December 2, 2017, then a NESHAP Notification of Asbestos Abatement must also be submitted for the work scheduled for December 2, 2017, even though less than 160 ft2 will be disturbed.

For questions regarding demolition or renovation activities involving the presence of asbestos-containing materials, contact the AQMD at (775) 784-7200 or send an e-mail to aqmdpermitting@washoecounty.us.

Forms and Applications:
https://www.washoecounty.us/health/programs-and-services/air-quality/Forms_and_Applications.php.

EPA has more information on asbestos, including operations and maintenance guidance for building owners, at: http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos

It is also recommended that you contact the State of Nevada OSHA regarding their requirements for the disturbance of asbestos containing materials: http://dir.nv.gov/OSHA/Home/.

Last modified on 02/25/2019

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