New Mexico Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos was once touted as the "miracle mineral" due to is durable and fire-resistant qualities. Many construction projects included asbestos in insulation, flooring, and other building materials. However, exposure to asbestos has been shown to significantly increase the occurrence of certain cancers, including a type of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. It has also been determined that asbestos materials are particularly unsafe when disturbed during a renovation or demolition project, because airborne asbestos particles can become lodged in the lungs and result in injury and illness.

After the harmful nature of airborne asbestos particles was discovered, the federal Environmental Protection Agency officially categorized asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant. Thereafter, laws were enacted at the federal level and by the states, including New Mexico, to regulate the removal of asbestos and prevent airborne fibers from causing illness or injury. This article covers New Mexico asbestos regulations, including the key regulatory agencies and removal regulations.

New Mexico Asbestos Regulations at a Glance

The following chart provides a summary of New Mexico asbestos regulations.

Statutes

§ Environmental Protection Agency National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, 40 CRF Part 61.140-156 (which has been adopted by the New Mexico State Legislature)

§ New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board, 20 NMAC 2.78

Asbestos Regulatory Agencies

Federal:

§ Environmental Protection Agency

New Mexico:

§ New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau

§ New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, which administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules

Asbestos Removal Regulations

Notice Requirements:

Official notice is required for all demolition projects, whether asbestos is present in the structure or not. Notice is also required for the renovation of spaces of 160 square feet or more. No notice is required for renovations where no asbestos is present.

Use of Asbestos Professionals:

Individuals trained and certified in asbestos removal are required to be on-site when any asbestos is determined to be present in a renovation or demolition project, so that any developing problems can be caught early and resolved without delay.

Penalties for non-compliance:

Violations of New Mexico asbestos regulations may be subject to civil action (including temporary or permanent injunction) and/or civil penalties of up to $15,000 per violation for each day of non-compliance.

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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