A range of services that we provide under what we call “hazardous materials management” really fall to the category of asbestos and and sometimes lead, despite the fact that that asbestos was supposed to be completely gone from the planet by like 2010. A fair amount of what we still do is to help building owners and property owners actually managed asbestos in their buildings. We do a significant amount of asbestos related work in schools, and right now with the economy booming, we do an awful lot of management of asbestos in renovation and demolition of buildings.
There are a couple of key factors that people should understand about the whole asbestos management problem. If you’re going to do any demolition or renovation in a building, EPA requires you to do what’s called a NESHAP survey, which is the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants. It says you will need to do a complete building survey to see if your demolition and renovation activities will impact asbestos-containing materials, and if they do, you need to mitigate or abate that asbestos before you do the work that would impact those materials and release them into the outdoor environment. The new regulations are more concerned with outdoor air pollution than they are with exposure to employees.
EPA also has an asbestos regulation for schools, which is called the AHERA standard, which is the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which came into being in 1987 and requires schools and institutions of learning to conduct these asbestos exposure studies to determine what you have for asbestos containing materials, the condition that it’s in, and have plans for abating or removing it when you are again doing operations that are going to impact that asbestos and release it to the environment where the school children are exposed.
What we prefer to do in a lot of these cases is do a building survey. We identify what asbestos-containing materials are present, and we can then actually help you through the entire process of abating or mitigate the materials by allowing us to work with and hire the contractors who can come in and abate the asbestos. We interface with your construction management team to make sure that it’s all done in a timely manner before you actually need to work in those areas, and in some cases, we’ve actually overseen the removal of asbestos from a building, the demolition of the building, and even grading the property off and returning the keys to the property owner for a piece of land where there’s no longer a building. We interface with you and your management team depending on timing to be able to do as little of that, or as much of that, as you would like to have us do, and that’s something that we do every day of the week.