Asbestos Abatement Company Licensing
Asbestos abatement work is overseen by the federal government, state governments, and sometimes local governments. These three levels of government work together to regulate and license businesses and individuals that provide asbestos removal services.
At the federal level, OSHA and EPA created requirements for asbestos abatement training as well as standards for protection while at the jobsite. State governments typically oversee the issuance of asbestos abatement licenses and permits, while large cities and counties may issue their own asbestos abatement permits.
About Company Licensing
Almost every state requires businesses to obtain a license or certification before providing asbestos abatement services. In addition to asbestos specific licenses, several states require asbestos abatement companies to obtain a generic contractor license. Asbestos abatement businesses in North Dakota are required to hold a Secretary of State issued contractor license along with their Department of Health issued asbestos contractor license.
In states with no asbestos company licenses, other requirements may apply. In Arizona, for example, there is no business license for asbestos abatement, but businesses must follow Department of Environmental Quality regulations.
In addition to licensing, companies should register with the secretary of state before conducting business in a state. New business entities will file incorporation or formation documents, while firms doing business outside of their home state will likely need to foreign qualify.
Before applying for a license, asbestos abatement companies must identify an employee to designate as the supervisor of abatement activities. The supervising individual must hold the requisite individual certification in order to be appointed to this role.
Application requirements vary by state, but firms are often required to submit the following:
- Proof of workers’ compensation insurance
- Certificate of good standing
- Application fee
- Contractor license number or copy of contractor license
- Certificate of authority if a foreign entity
- List of certified employees
- Ownership information
- List of all recent abatement projects
Businesses that take on abatement projects in multiple states may need to obtain a license in each state where they have a project. Some states have reciprocal agreements to honor licenses issued in other states, but these agreements are not common.
In addition to state-issued licenses, some counties and cities issue their own asbestos abatement licenses. Firms with abatement projects in Philadelphia, for example, would need to apply for a city-issued license in addition to the Pennsylvania asbestos contractor license.
Notification and Permits
Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations require that companies submit a notification form at least 10 days prior to the start of a renovation or demolition project if the project is above a certain size. This requirement comes into play on commercial projects where asbestos containing materials (ACM) greater than 260 linear feet, 160 square feet, or 35 cubic feet are being removed, and on residential projects with greater than 10 linear feet, 6 square feet, or 1 cubic foot of ACM being removed.
Notification is typically submitted to the state board in charge of issuing asbestos abatement licenses, although cities and counties may also require their own copy of the notification. Larger abatement projects may require that the company apply for a permit before work begins.
Asbestos abatement company licenses typically need to be renewed on an annual basis. Licenses that are not renewed by the due date become inactive until the renewal is filed. Having an inactive license means that your firm may not be able to pull permits and could also limit the firm’s ability to expand to new states.
Licenses that are inactive for a significant time can be revoked entirely by the state, and entities that perform work under an inactive or revoked license may be subject to penalties.
Businesses that do not follow state and federal regulations while conducting asbestos abatement activities can be hit with steep penalties. Civil penalties vary by state and the circumstances of the violation but typically amount to thousands of dollars per violation. In Hawaii, violators can be fined up to $10,000 per infraction for each day a violation is committed. Criminal penalties can also be applied when there is evidence of willful violation of asbestos abatement regulations.
Click on a link below to view licensing information in your state.
Associated General Contractors of America
Professional association providing advocacy and organization for construction firms and workers.
National Association of Home Builders
National association for the promotion of the housing industry.
National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National organization that represents and promotes the interests of state level contractor licensing agencies.