The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) asbestos regulations (310 CMR 7.15) announced safe handling practices for renovation or removal activities for asbestos. To protect the public health and environment, the contractors, working under Conservations Services Group’s MassSAVE Utility Program’s Weatherization Program, must follow these MassDEP regulations that explain how to remove and replace intact asbestos cement shingles that are in good working condition.
The First Step
Before starting the project involving asbestos cement shingle removal, the contractor must inform MassDEP via Asbestos Notification Form ANF-001.
The form is available on MassDEP’s website. The contractor can fill the form online. To get further information, the contractor can call on 617-348-4095.
A notification fee is to be paid while filing an ANF-001. The owner-occupied residential properties with four or fewer units, towns, cities, counties, districts of the Commonwealth, municipal housing authorities, and other state agencies, are exempted from notification fee.
For removing good condition asbestos cement shingles, there is no need to make a sealed work area or conduct air cleaning, provided if otherwise, you are following MassDEP’s asbestos regulations at 310 CMR 7.15, and the procedures as follows:
- During removal or after handling, the shingles must not be broken, sanded, sawed, or drilled.
- The shingles must be carefully lowered to the ground to avoid breakage.
- Use drop cloth of a minimum of 5 feet wide under the work area, for buildings up to 10 feet in height (one story). The cloth should be cleaned from time to time.
- The work area’s doors and windows must be closed.
- Wet the shingles before removal to minimize the reseals of the asbestos fiber into the air. You can use a pop-up type sprayer for this. It also minimizes slip hazards. Use automotive windshield wash in water to wet the shingles.
- For decontamination, keep a bucket of warm water on the site. Workers should rinse their hands and faces before any break. The tools should also be rinsed off every day.
Packaging, Labelling, Disposal
The shingles are to be reinstalled that were initially removed. The broken shingles cannot be used though. The broken ones should be properly packaged, labeled, and disposed of.
- Put the wetted broken shingles in a sealed and leak-tight container with proper labeling. As per MassDEP, use cardboard boxes wrapped in two layers of 6-mil poly and sealed with duct tapes with locking lids.
- Never load uncontained shingles into a truck or dumpster.
- Put an asbestos warning label on each container; “Caution: Contain asbestos. Avoid opening or breaking containers. Breathing asbestos is hazardous to your health”. The name of the house owner and the location of the site must also be put on the label.
- As per Massachusetts solid waste regulations 310 CMR 19.061, asbestos-containing waste material is a special waste and must be disposed of at a landfill that is specially permitted for asbestos waste disposal.
- Hire a waste hauler or asbestos abatement contractor for disposing of the waste.
- Asbestos shingles should not be disposed of at a recycling facility, transfer station, or municipal waste combustion facility.