Managing Environmental Risks to Protect the Bottom Line
A few weeks ago, a property owner in Nevada pleaded guilty to mishandling asbestos in his buildings. The man faces up to 5 years in prison, plus a $250k fine for each violation. This might sound extreme, but it's not terribly unusual. Environmental regulators take asbestos pretty seriously, especially during demolition & construction projects.
EPA sets standards for the safe removal of ACBMs before any demolition or renovation activity takes place.
In a nutshell, Federal asbestos regulations require a licensed professional be hired to manage asbestos remediation. During removal, asbestos-containing materials must be:
kept wet to prevent dust from escaping,
sealed in leak-proof bags, and
disposed of at authorized asbestos waste facilities.
Engaging a third-party expert helps property managers & construction firms limit their liabilities when it comes to health threats related to asbestos. An expert can tell you --
Whether or not the asbestos in your building is
considered "in good condition." Such material can be left alone if it will remain undisturbed during construction.
Whether a proactive Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program should be put into place to assure that any asbestos containing building materials (ACBMs) in your building remain in good condition.
The key to mitigating your liability exposure is knowing for sure where asbestos exists in your building and having a plan in place to reduce the risk of disturbing it.