Oregon adopted new requirements in 2018 for handling asbestos. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requires property owners and contractors to identify asbestos and to properly handle, package and dispose of asbestos waste from demolition and renovation projects. A new requirement that’s especially applicable to the real estate industry is the new residential renovation survey requirement. Properly handling asbestos protects public health. When asbestos is disturbed, tiny fibers are released into the air and may cause lung cancer and other illnesses. There’s no known safe level of exposure.
There are three main changes to Oregon’s asbestos requirements:
- Residential renovation asbestos survey: All houses and other residential buildings constructed prior to 2004 must now have an asbestos survey conducted by an accredited inspector prior to demolition and renovation activities, with one main exception for owner-occupants doing their own renovation work. This expands an existing asbestos survey requirement for residential demolitions and for commercial demolitions and renovations.
- Updated disposal requirements for nonfriable waste: Nonfriable asbestos waste must now be packaged the same as friable asbestos waste. Friable materials are those that can be easily crumbled and release asbestos fibers. Applying the same packaging standard for nonfriable and friable materials streamlines the packaging requirements for all asbestos waste and ensures a safer work environment for employees, residents, neighbors and disposal facility workers.
- Accredited laboratories for asbestos testing: Starting January 1, 2021, the bulk asbestos samples collected during the asbestos surveying must be analyzed by a laboratory that participates in a nationally recognized accreditation or testing program. This new requirement establishes a common level of competency and reliability in analysis to properly identify asbestos content. DEQ will maintain a public list of accredited laboratories on its website.
Find more information about Oregon’s asbestos rules on DEQ’s Asbestos Information webpage.