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Back to Basics: Best Practices for Asbestos

Before you can obtain that all-important construction permit from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), you must secure several items. One important component of every permit package is the required asbestos investigation.

First, the samples…

Building permits require an asbestos investigation to be conducted on the project site. An asbestos investigator will collect samples and submit them to a certified testing lab to determine if any of the materials to be disturbed by construction activity contain asbestos.

Before the investigation can be scheduled, the asbestos investigator needs plans for the proposed project area and Plan/Work Application (PW1) forms for all proposed work types within the project scope. The PW1 tells the investigator what materials within the project site will be disturbed during construction. Based on this information, the investigator determines the number of samples needed.

At the project site, an onsite contact grants the investigator access to perform the investigation. The work is nonintrusive and can usually be performed during business hours. Once the investigator has gathered the required number of samples, he or she will submit them to the certified lab for testing.

Then, the lab testing

The initial analysis takes 24 to 48 hours. If after the initial analysis, the samples are found not to contain vermiculite or asbestos, the investigator can prepare the required Asbestos Assessment Report (ACP-5) forms needed for the permit filing package. The ACP-5 forms state that the materials to be disturbed are free of asbestos.

If vermiculite is found (usually in sprayed fireproofing), additional samples must be submitted for more rigorous testing. This testing takes several more days, and if the result of this testing shows absence of asbestos, the investigator can then prepare and release the ACP-5s.

However, if asbestos is found, the site must undergo asbestos abatement with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to rid the site of asbestos. Once the asbestos remediation work is complete, an Asbestos Project Completion (ACP-21) form will be issued, which can be used to obtain a building permit.

For more information, check out another article from our March 2015 newsletter.

For any additional questions or comments on asbestos investigation, please contact Milrose Consultants.

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