Asbestos FAQs

  • How long will it take to receive my asbestos contractor's license?

    Roughly four weeks for initial licenses and two weeks for renewals. 

  • What do I do if I think my home may contain asbestos?

    You need to hire an accredited professional asbestos inspector who has current training from an EPA-accredited training provider. See EPA’s website for more information.

  • Do I need an asbestos inspection?

    Yes, for demolition projects. You also need an inspection for a renovation or abatement, unless all material is presumed to be asbestos-containing and is handled as such. You cannot presume the material does not contain asbestos. 

  • What is the difference between an asbestos inspector and an asbestos abatement contractor?

    An asbestos inspector is a trained/accredited professional who inspects a home or building for asbestos-containing material. These inspections include visual and physical assessments and collecting samples of suspected materials for testing. An inspector should provide you a written report that includes the laboratory results identifying what materials, if any, contain asbestos.

    The inspector may also tell you what corrections are needed and, if repair or removal of asbestos materials is performed, he or she can ensure the asbestos abatement contractor has followed proper procedures, including during cleanup, and can monitor the air to ensure no increase in asbestos fibers. 

    An asbestos abatement contractor repairs or removes asbestos materials. To avoid a conflict of interest, the asbestos inspector should not be affiliated with the asbestos abatement contractor.

  • Does Georgia EPD license asbestos inspectors?

    No, EPD does not license professional asbestos inspectors; however, inspectors must have current training from an EPA-accredited training provider. EPD does license asbestos abatement contractor firms. Ask to see proof of accreditation and completion of federal- or state-approved training. 

  • How do I become an asbestos abatement contractor in Georgia?

    Apply through the Georgia EPD Online System (GEOS). Your application must include:

    • A primary agent who has supervisor training consisting of an initial 40-hour course from a training provider with Georgia EPD or direct EPA accreditation. The initial training must have been completed within 48 months of applying. (Annual eight-hour refresher courses must be completed within 12 months of the previous training.) The primary agent should have supervised three completed and documented friable ACM removal projects. Provide documentation such as a NESHAP or state project notification form; air sampling reports, including final clearance, if performed; waste shipment records; daily sign-in sheets listing the primary agent as the supervisor, if the agent’s name was not documented as the project's supervisor on the above-mentioned forms.
    • A manual that addresses the standard operating procedures your firm will follow throughout all abatement activities, including (at a minimum):
      • Type of protective clothing, respirators and safety equipment to be used
      • Personal decontamination procedures
      • Process to ensure all workers and supervisors maintain appropriate asbestos and safety training
      • Procedure for removal and/or encapsulation/enclosure
      • Procedure for collection and disposal of asbestos-containing waste
      • Procedure for final cleanup and visual inspections
  • Does a company or individual performing asbestos abatement need to be Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certified?

    Yes, a company or individual performing asbestos abatement needs to be Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certified if they are working on target (pre-1978) housing or child-occupied facilities.

  • What is friable asbestos-containing material (ACM)?

    Any material containing more than one percent asbestos, as determined by polarized light microscopy, that when dry can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure (also see definition of RACM below). 

  • What are examples of Category I and Category II asbestos-containing materials?
    • Category I consists of non-friable flooring, floor mastics, asphalt roofing products, packings, and gaskets.
    • Category II consists of all remaining types of non-friable ACM not included in Category I that, when dry, cannot be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure, such as transite, window glazing, floor leveling compound, and all other mastics.
  • What is regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM)?

    Regulated asbestos-containing material, as defined in 40 CFR 61.141 of the NESHAP, includes:

    • Friable asbestos-containing material
    • Category I non-friable ACM that has become friable
    • Category I non-friable ACM that has been or will be sanded, ground, cut, or abraded
    • Category II non-friable ACM that has already been or is likely to become crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder
  • What are asbestos removal fees?

    The fee structure only applies to asbestos abatement projects where a notice must be filed. The fees must be included with the notification. The fee is $0.10 per square foot of friable asbestos-containing materials, plus $0.10 per linear foot of friable asbestos-containing materials, with a minimum of $25 for any project. The fee is not to exceed $50 for any small project or residential dwelling project, nor exceed $1,000 for any other project.

  • What is considered demolition?

    The wrecking or removal of any load-supporting structural member of a facility, together with any related handling operations or the intentional burning of a facility. Prior to beginning the demolition or renovation, the owners and/or operators must thoroughly inspect the affected facility, or the part of the facility where the demolition/renovation operation will occur, for the presence of friable and non-friable asbestos, including Category I and II non-friable ACM.

  • What are the demolition project notification regulations?

    All demolition projects are subject to the project notification regulations, regardless if ACM is present or not. All residential structures/apartments are required to notify if the demolition is part of a larger project, such as a department of transportation road project, commercial or industrial development, or urban renewal project. Residential buildings at one location planned for demolition at the same time, or as part of the same planning or scheduling period, that are under the control of the same owner or operator, are considered part of the same project and subject to notification requirements. Legal owners or residences where four or fewer dwelling units are involved, unless part of a larger project (see above), are exempt from demolition project notification requirements. All resulting demolition waste that contains ACM must be handled as asbestos-containing material and disposed of at a permitted landfill.

  • What is a renovation or abatement project?

    Under Georgia regulations, any project involving 10 or more continuous linear feet or 10 or more square feet of friable ACM requires submitting a project notification and paying the associated fees.

  • What is considered an “emergency” in regard to project notifications?

    An abatement, renovation, and/or encapsulation project resulting from a sudden, unexpected event that, if not immediately addressed, presents a safety or public health hazard, is necessary to protect equipment from damage, or is necessary to avoid imposing an unreasonable financial burden. EPD no longer grants emergency waivers for the project notification period.

    If it is a NESHAP project, contact EPA Region 4. If it is not a NESHAP project, attach a letter of explanation to the project notification and proceed with the project. 

    Notification of the emergency situation should be submitted to EPD within 24 hours from the time of its occurrence, or from the time you are contacted with a request for emergency work to be performed. A letter from the owner of the project, or his or her representative, explaining the emergency situation must accompany the notification.

  • What are the recommended procedures for handling bulk ACM?

    The asbestos Rules stipulate, among other things, preventing emissions of particulate asbestos material to the ambient air during removal and disposal of asbestos-containing material (ACM). Based on these regulations, and the operating requirements for waste disposal sites, all ACM must be adequately wet during removal and sealed in leak-proof containers (such as bags or drums) that have the proper warning label affixed to them.

    However, ACM that may be considered non-friable (e.g., built-up roofing, asbestos-containing cement roofing or siding, and vinyl flooring) can present several problems that have resulted in the need for alternative waste handling procedures. These problems could include torn bags due to sharp edges and an excessive amount of time and labor necessary to handle large volumes of heavy waste with conventional bagging methods. Please contact the Lead-Based Paint and Asbestos Program at 404-363-7026 prior to establishing any procedures for the bulk handling of non-friable ACM.

  • How do I adequately wet ACM for removal?

    To adequately wet asbestos-containing material (ACM) prior to removal, you must sufficiently mix or coat with water (or an aqueous solution) to prevent dust emissions. The ACM must stay wet during removal and subsequent handling until it is properly collected for disposal.

  • Does EPD consider floor tile removal a regulated “friable” project?

    It depends on what method is being used to remove the floor tiles. EPD considers intact floor tile non-friable ACM; however, upon disturbance it becomes friable. EPD uses two criteria to determine whether a floor tile project is regulated or not:

    1. The condition of the floor tile
    2. The method(s) that will be used to remove the floor tile and mastic (if present)

    A floor tile project that is removing tiles using “mechanical means,” such as long-handled scrapers (e.g., ice chippers, shovels, spud bars), powered mechanical chisels, or shot-blasters is considered a regulated friable project since these methods subject the floor tiles to breakage and, therefore, generate RACM.  

    A project using tile removal methods including, but not limited to, chemical methods, dry ice, and infrared machines is not considered a regulated activity since these methods typically do not generate RACM.

    Friable asbestos removal projects that are more than 10 square feet or 10 linear feet must be performed by a Georgia Licensed Asbestos Contractor who must submit a project notification to EPD; pay any associated fees for removal; and follow all standard work practices, including wet removal and proper disposal.

  • How do I perform post-asbestos abatement air clearance sampling?

    The EPA/AHERA regulatory clearance level for asbestos abatement projects in K-12 schools depends on the analysis type. For phase contrast microscopy (PCM) analysis, the level is 0.01 f/cc or lower, based on each result of at least five samples per abatement area. For transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis, the level is 70 s/mm² or lower, based on the average of at least five samples per abatement area. 

    The sample air volumes normally required to measure these levels are at least 3,850 liters for each sample analyzed by PCM and at least 1,200 liters for each sample analyzed by TEM. These clearance levels are mandatory for school abatement projects and EPD highly recommends their use for non-school projects.

  • What are EPD's asbestos/demolition requirements for an acquired structure burn?

    An acquired structure burn is when a structure is demolished by a fire department conducting a live fire training exercise. All acquired structure burns are subject to the federal NESHAP and therefore must comply with the following:

    • All structures must be thoroughly inspected by an accredited asbestos inspector for the presence or absence of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)
    • All ACMs, friable or non-friable CAT I or CAT II, must be removed from the structure prior to burning
    • An Asbestos Project Notification-Live Fire Training application must be submitted by the fire department to EPD’s Lead-Based Paint and Asbestos Program prior to conducting the live fire training. The notification must be submitted through the GEOS online notification system no less than 10 working days prior to the anticipated burn. There is no fee associated with the application; however, a copy of the Asbestos Survey/Inspection Report performed on the structure must be submitted for review.


    Fire departments must contact the EPD District Office for the county in which the burn will take place. A Request to Burn Permit application must be submitted to the appropriate District Office and an issued Permit to Burn received from EPD prior to the live fire training.

    Fire departments must follow directives and guidelines issued by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center's fire chief. In addition to asbestos-containing materials, for example, other materials may be required to be removed. Other directives from EPD may also apply. For example, under air quality regulations, no burning is allowed within the 54 counties inside and around the metropolitan Atlanta area between May 1 and September 30.