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Home demolitions now require asbestos survey

By Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal

Danger AsbestosAsbestos surveying requirements for residential building demolitions will be beefed up beginning Jan. 1.

The Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 705 this year in response to growing concern among Oregonians about exposure to cancer-causing asbestos fibers, which can be released into the air as a result of improper handling or disposal of asbestos-containing materials such as insulation.

As directed by the bill, the Environmental Quality Commission has approved a temporary rule prohibiting demolition of a residence unless an accredited inspector has performed an asbestos survey.

A similar rule already exists for multifamily and other structures.

There are three exemptions to the rule: If the residence was built after Jan. 1, 2004; if all material is managed as asbestos-containing material; or if DEQ approves, on a case-by-case basis, a written request to waive the survey requirement. Read more