Apartment firms are reminded that certain activities may trigger compliance with federal asbestos regulations that mandate worker training, an O&M plan and reporting requirements. Properties built before 1981 are presumed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to harbor “asbestos containing materials" (ACM) if they have not affirmatively tested various index materials, such as floor tiles, troweled on or sprayed on surfacing materials or pipe wrap. EPA regulates asbestos largely through reporting requirements, but does not limit compliance by date of building construction. State and local authorities may have additional regulations regarding activities that involve asbestos.
EPA has updated its publication, "Managing Asbestos in Place: A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs." The book, also known as the Green Book, is a guidance document, not a regulation; it was originally published in 1990 when there was considerable confusion concerning how asbestos should be managed, and many property owners were being advised that they needed to remove this material. Federal regulators became concerned that the widespread demolition trend was creating more problems than it was solving and thus came the clear recommendation for “management in place.”