Washington, D.C. Asbestos Regulations

Once thought of as the ultimate fire- and heat-resistant material for building construction, automobile brake pads, and other such applications, asbestos was quickly phased out after its serious health risks were confirmed. Although the naturally occurring, fibrous mineral may look harmless, its fibers can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma if inhaled into the lungs. Fortunately, asbestos rarely becomes airborne and typically only when an old building is renovated or demolished -- which is why states and the District of Columbia regulate activities in which asbestos is removed, destroyed, or otherwise exposed.

Below are the basics of Washington, D.C.'s asbestos regulations, including links to forms and other relevant resources.

Washington, D.C. Asbestos Regulations at a Glance

Statutes and Codes
Asbestos Regulatory Agencies

Federal:

Washington, D.C.:

Asbestos Removal/Abatement Permitting and Notification
  • Residential building with four or fewer dwelling units (including privately owned and single-family homes) are excluded from DOEE's asbestos regulations.
  • To obtain an Asbestos Abatement Permit, licensed contractors must submit an Asbestos Notification Form with the appropriate fee.
  • DOEE must receive notifications at least 10 working days before asbestos abatement activities begin.
  • If a notification is incomplete, DOEE will attempt to obtain the missing or erroneous information. If needed information cannot be obtained, a permit will not be issued and the application will therefore be canceled.
Notifications to Building Occupants
  • Building Owners, or designated representatives, must inform occupants not less than 30 days prior to commencement of asbestos abatement. Requests for a waiver from this requirement must be submitted in writing to DOEE.
  • Except in emergency situations, notices of asbestos abatement work must be posted at least 3 days before work commences (3-day Asbestos Project Notice). Notices must be posted immediately outside all entrances and exits from the work site of asbestos abatement. This requirement does not apply to utility companies.
Emergency Permits
  • The asbestos abatement contractor wishing to start work before submitting a 10-day notification must request a waiver from DOEE. The waiver request must include a complete and accurate notification for the abatement work and a letter explaining why the 10-day notification period should be waived.
  • Permits must be obtained and permit fees must be paid for abatements that receive a waiver of the 10-day notification requirement when the abatement involves RACM and meets size thresholds.

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Washington, D.C. Asbestos Regulations: Related Resources

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Even though asbestos is no longer approved for use in new building projects, plenty of the deadly fibers remain in old buildings and other locations where asbestos was heavily used. If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos or have developed an asbestos-related illness, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Learn more by having an attorney evaluate your situation for free.

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