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Asbestos Renovations and Demolition Operations

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District is the local agency responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations for asbestos removal and demolition operations.

Asbestos Information


Asbestos occurs naturally in the environment around the world, including Central and Northern California. The term asbestos refers to several varieties of mineral fibers that are mined and processed for commercial uses around the world. Because asbestos fibers are microscopic, lightweight, and are extremely resistant to heat and chemicals, asbestos became a valued building material throughout the 1900s. It has been used extensively in insulation products and for providing fire resistance to buildings. After the late 1970s, asbestos became widely recognized as a serious health hazard.

District Rules that Apply to Asbestos Removal and Demolitions

The Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), as specified under Rule 40, CFR 61, Subpart M applies to asbestos removal and demolitions and is enforced locally by the San Diego Air Pollution Control District, under authority, per Regulation XI,  Subpart M- Rule 361.145 & 361.150.


Other Local Regulatory Agencies

County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH)


CA State Regulatory Agencies

Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)

California Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA)

Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB)

California Air Resources Board


Federal Regulatory Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Department of Labor (DOL)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material (RACM)


The term Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material (RACM) refers to materials containing more than one percent asbestos and asbestos that is either friable (can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure), or non-friable that have become or are likely to become friable (airborne) through the use of tools, work practices, or the forces expected to act on the materials in the course of demolition or renovation operations. 

A Facility or "Regulated Structure"

The term “Facility” is referenced many times in District Rules 361.145 & 361.150 detailing which structures are regulated.  As defined in District Rule 361.145, a "facility" is:

“any institutional, commercial, public, industrial or residential structure, installation or building  including condominiums, or individual dwelling units operated as a residential cooperative,  excluding residential buildings having four or fewer dwelling units under one roof, any ships, or any active or inactive waste disposal site.”

Any structure subject to the Asbestos NESHAP continues to be regulated under the Asbestos NESHAP even if the use or function of that structure changes. Regulated structures include government buildings, residential facilities, buildings demolished for fire training, and buildings demolished for urban renewal projects.


Regulation of Residential Facilities


A regulated residential facility is any building, condominium, or apartment that contains more than four dwelling units. A regulated residential facility is also a group of buildings located on the same property and managed by a common entity, even when there are fewer than four dwelling units in each building.

Asbestos Removal Practices at Condominiums and Apartments is a District compliance advisory that highlights residential facilities.  These requirements also apply to other commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities.


Demolition vs. Renovation at a Facility 

"Demolition" and "Renovation" are defined in District Rule 361.141 and differ from some building department definitions.

You demolish a facility when you remove or wreck any load-supporting structural member of that facility or perform any related operations. You also "demolish" a facility when you burn it.

You renovate a facility when you alter any part of that facility in any other manner. Renovation includes stripping or removing asbestos from the facility.

A Hazardous Materials Questionnaire may be required prior to applying for a building permit from your local agency.


Applicability of Asbestos Regulations During Renovation Projects

Asbestos NESHAP regulations must be followed for all facility renovations with at least

260 linear feet (80 linear meters) of regulated asbestos-containing materials (RACM) on pipes, or

160 square feet (15 square meters) of regulated asbestos-containing materials on other facility components, or

35 cubic feet (one cubic meter) of facility components where the amount of RACM previously removed from pipes and other facility components could not be measured before stripping.

These amounts are known as the "threshold" amounts. If smaller scale projects collectively add up to the amounts listed above, the entire scope of work is subject to the notification and work practice standards of the NESHAP.


Applicability of Asbestos Regulations During Demolition Projects

All facility demolitions require notification of the appropriate regulatory agency, even if no asbestos is present at the site. All demolitions and renovations are "subject" to the Asbestos NESHAP insofar as owners and operators must conduct a survey to determine if and how much asbestos is present at the site.


Notice of Intention Form for Asbestos Renovation or Demolition

An Asbestos Renovation or Demolition Notice of Intention form is required for anyone who has control over the:


Þ      Demolition of a facility (commercial structures and residential buildings having more than four dwelling units).  They are required to submit to the District a ten working-day advance written notification, whether or not any asbestos was identified in the pre-project survey.

Þ      Renovation of facilities involving at least 160 square feet, 260 linear feet (for pipes), or 35 cubic feet of RACM. They are required to submit to the District a ten working-day advance written notification.

Þ      Certain emergency demolitions or emergency renovations may be eligible for expedited notification provisions provided they qualify by meeting specific criteria.

All notifications must be completed on approved forms with all required information, and must be submitted with required fees.

All information   should be included in the Notice of Intention form.  Failure to do so could result in the issuance of a  Notice Of Violation.


Notification Requirements

In San Diego County, notify the County of San Diego Air Pollution Control District for demolition or renovation operations subject to the Asbestos NESHAP by mailing or hand-delivering the notification form to the District at 10124 Old Grove Rd, San Diego, CA 92131. The notification must be postmarked or delivered at least ten working days before demolition, asbestos stripping, removal work or any other activity begins (such as site preparation that would break up, dislodge or similarly disturb asbestos material).

Appropriate fees must be included with all submitted notifications and revisions. The notification fees for demolitions and asbestos renovations are listed in District  Rule 40, Section (f)(2). The District also accepts American Express and Discover with a 2.2% service fee. For those paying by credit card, notifications can be faxed to (858) 586-2651.

See the Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) for additional information.


Asbestos Removal and Demolition Operation FAQ

This information is intended to assist contractors, builder owners and/or their agents to understand the requirements of the notifications and to prevent inadvertent violations and penalties.

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  • When Can I Begin My Asbestos Removal or Demolition Project?

    You must start on the date stated on the notification. You do not need to wait for an inspector to start work you can start at any time on the date stated in the notification.

    For Demolitions “starting” means commencing the removal of the load bearing structural member.

    For Asbestos removal “starting” means removing or disturbing asbestos containing material.

  • If I Cannot Start My Project on the Start Date What Should I Do?

    If you cannot start on the date on the notification you must contact the District as soon as possible but no later than the original start date. We must receive your revision no later than the close of business at 5:00 p.m. You can send in a change in start date notification by fax 858-586-2650 or by email, in person to our office at 10124 Old Grove Road. You can also mail your notification however we must receive it by the original start date. The fee to change the start date is $49, payable by cash, check or credit card (American Express or Discover only). A 2.2% service fee is charged for credit card transactions.

    If you need to revise your revised start date(s) the same requirements stated above apply.

  • When Can I End my Asbestos Removal or Demolition Project?

    You can finish your project by the date stated in the notification. If you finish earlier than the date stated no further notification is required. If you do not finish by the end date stated in the notification you can submit a revision notification as soon as possible but no later than the original end date (or subsequent revised end dates) to us by mail, email, in person or fax (information noted above) with the new end date. A fee is not required for changing the end date on the notification.

  • What Happens if My Notification “Expires”?

    If your project is not complete and the end date has passed and you have not submitted a revision to the end date, you must submit a new notification which includes the 10 working day waiting period.

  • What Should I Do To Avoid a Violation?

    Start your project on time!

    Send in Revision Notifications Promptly.

    Follow All Required Work Practices and Removal, Demolition Standards.

  • What Information Should I Keep on My Project Site?

    Keep a copy of the notification and any revisions, asbestos survey, training certificates as applicable.

  • Where Do I Send My Notifications?

    All notifications must be accompanied by the appropriate fees in order to be accepted. You can mail your notification to 10124 Old Grove Road, San Diego CA 92131. If paying by credit card you can email your notification to or by fax at 858-586-2651.

    If you have any questions please contact the Compliance Division at 858-586-2650 and ask for the inspector on duty.


Asbestos Overview

Asbestos for Workers

Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos for Homeowners

Asbestos for Contractors

Contact Information


For more information on facility descriptions/exemptions, please contact the Compliance Disvision at (858) 586-2650 or

You can mail your completed notifications to:

Air Pollution Control District
10124 Old Grove Road
San Diego, CA 92131

If paying by credit card (American Express or Discover) fax your notification to 858-586-2651 or by email.