Fire, Earthquakes, Emergencies and Asbestos

After a major fire or earthquake, many buildings will require debris removal or demolition.  Be aware that buildings constructed prior to 1984 may have asbestos-containing materials (ACM).  Even buildings constructed after 1984 can contain some asbestos.  Materials that may contain asbestos include roofs, floor tiles, acoustic ceilings, insulation, sound proofing, cement pipes, heating ducts, pipe coverings and others. After a sudden unexpected event where houses, buildings and structures have collapsed and a site clean-up is required, house-owners and contractors must adhere to the requirements of Rule 1403 (PDF) for Emergency Renovations and Demolitions. 

Per Rule 1403 (PDF)(c)(14):

"EMERGENCY DEMOLITION is a demolition ordered by a governmental agency for the purpose of eliminating peril to the safety of persons, property or the environment resulting from hazards such as collapse, fire, crime, disease, or toxic contamination or other hazard as determined by the Executive Officer". 

Also per Rule 1403 (PDF)(c)(15): 

"EMERGENCY RENOVATION is any renovation that was not planned and results from a sudden unexpected event that results in unsafe conditions. Such events include, but are not limited to, renovations necessitated by non-routine failures of equipment, earthquake or fire damage. An economic burden alone, without a sudden, unexpected event, does not give rise to conditions that meet this definition." 

As the owner or operator of any demolition or renovation activity at a house, building or structure that has been damaged due to a sudden unexpected event, you are still required to perform a prior asbestos survey and submit the Emergency Demolition and/or Renovation notifications (PDF, 641kb) in accordance to paragraphs (d)(1)(B)(iii) & (iv) of Rule 1403 (PDF) as soon as possible. 

Submit a Procedure-5 Clean-Up Plan (PDF, 181kb) for any clean-up of disturbed asbestos containing materials at sites that can’t be surveyed due to safety concerns, or any Demolition or Renovation activity where the asbestos containing materials can’t be removed prior to the Demolition or Renovation activity. 

  • State Declared Emergencies (fires, earthquakes,...) (DOC, 33kb)

  • Updated South Coast AQMD Executive Orders: Suspension of selected South Coast AQMD rules for activities related to August - September, 2009 wildfires (asbestos notification and fees, portable internal combustion engines and mobile refuelers)

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