You may be reading this article because you have been told your Southern California house or building is contaminated with asbestos and you will need a Procedure 5 Plan.
Or perhaps you have a Procedure 5 Plan report in hand and now need to hire an asbestos abatement company to perform the work.
In this blog post we will take a look a closer look at Procedure 5 Plans, including the process how to properly obtain one.
But first we need to begin this discussion by explaining the reasons why asbestos contamination occurs in the first place.
What causes asbestos contamination?
There are many reasons that a Procedure 5 Plan might be required, but all of them have this in common: an uncontrolled or unplanned asbestos fiber release resulting in contamination or potential contamination.
Asbestos contamination can be caused by unforeseen things that are beyond an owner’s control.
We have listed below the five most common causes of asbestos contamination found in residential homes and commercial buildings.
1. Natural Disasters
The destructive forces of nature can all lead to asbestos contamination that requires a Procedure 5 abatement plan. Asbestos containing building materials may become disturbed during extreme weather events.
- High Winds
2. Ageing Process
Asbestos contamination can result from the ageing process and time itself.
As asbestos materials age, they generally become more and more “friable”. When these materials fail, falling or crumbling takes place.
The ageing process is particularly common in Los Angeles and Southern California. The majority of buildings were constructed during the boom of asbestos containing materials. Many are 50, 60 even 100+ years old.
Non-Friable Building Materials breakdown and become friable over time.
- Floor tiles and associated mastics
- Transite asbestos (cement) exhaust flues for furnace, water heaters etc.
- Roofing felts
3. Lack of Awareness
Occasionally we see asbestos contamination result from lack of awareness when DIY (do it yourself) renovation and remodeling projects begin WITHOUT the proper asbestos survey in place.
Despite all the mesothelioma TV commercials and public awareness campaigns about the dangers of asbestos, remodelers may accidentally forget to get an asbestos survey BEFORE they begin renovations.
An asbestos survey is a lawfully required report that identifies any asbestos containing materials in a building. This report needs to completed PRIOR to any remodeling work taking place.
4. Unscrupulous Contractors
Sadly, there are unscrupulous contractors in the marketplace who, despite knowing the legal requirements, dismiss the dangers of asbestos and ignore the law to gain financially.
These unethical contractors know it is more expensive to correct asbestos contamination than perform the proper work from the start. Their deceitful and short-sighted actions ultimately become the responsibility of the unsuspecting building or home owner.
5. Friable Asbestos
As asbestos materials age, the more “friable” it becomes. While this buzz word is commonly used among Real Estate Agents, Contractors and Building Managers, it doesn’t have a scientific or elaborate definition at all. It simply means “crushable under hand pressure”. In other words, if the asbestos fiber in the materials can be easily released, they are “friable”.
What you need to know is that friable asbestos materials have a much higher potential to become an environmental or health concern than stable or “non-friable” materials.
Regrettably, non-friable asbestos materials can become friable over time or by a building disturbance such as natural disasters. Other building materials were friable when they left from the factory and newly installed such as:
- Acoustic ceiling
- Pipe lagging
- Heater ducting
What is the ‘correct’ process to abate asbestos contamination?
First, do not panic. But definitely keep all people and pets out of the area. If there is a “major release” (damage area more than 3 square feet) you want to give serious consideration to living elsewhere until the area has been isolated, stabilized and corrected.
You want to begin by contacting a Licensed Asbestos Consultant or Certified Industrial Hygienist begin the initial testing and reporting.
It is important this person is independent and non-affiliated with the asbestos abatement company you will hire to complete the actual work. This removes any conflict of interest.
If your home or building is located in the Greater Los Angeles Area, you should call Alternative Technologies Inc. at 310-473-2509 or 818-700-8002. They can refer you to a non-affiliated Licensed Asbestos Consultant or Certified Industrial Hygienist in your area.
The consultant or hygienist will visit your location and immediately advise you of any immediate safety and compliance concerns by testing disturbed and undisturbed materials.
If required, Alternative Technologies Inc. is available for emergency stabilization to isolate the area(s) of concern to avoid potential further contamination and more expense.
Procedure 5 Plan
If disturbed asbestos containing materials are identified, the detailed findings will be written up in a report called a “Procedure 5 Plan”.
Procedure 5 Clean-up Plans are brief, in outline form, and not more than four pages long (in most cases). They should include:
- Scope of the projects
- Asbestos material(s) at the site, its condition, type, amount and specific location(s) within the site
- Abatement project stages
- Provisions for site preparation and control, prevention of contamination migration, include ingress/egress zones
- Engineering work practices and asbestos emission controls
- Procedures for work area clean-up and/or decontamination after bulk removal
- Provisions for handling, storing, transporting and disposing of the asbestos containing waste
- Air monitoring type(s) and clearance level to be achieved, and
- Type and amount of asbestos remaining on site (if any) to be removed or managed in place and by whom
- Reference to, and recommended disposition of, asbestos-contaminated contents/property
The consultant or hygienist will then submit their Procedure 5 Plan to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or AQMD for short) for review and approval.
Once this independent process has been completed, a fully licensed and experience asbestos abatement company, such as Alternative Technologies Inc., can prepare a cost proposal and submit it to you or your insurance company.
After accepting the proposal, the next step in the process is called “Notification”.
Asbestos abatement contractors must notify SCAQMD by completing an online form and forwarding a copy of the Procedure 5 Plan.
Only after SCAQMD has given approval can the Procedure 5 Plan work begin by a fully licensed asbestos abatement company.
It’s important to mention that asbestos abatement companies can request SCAQMC approve an “Emergency Notification” so asbestos abatement can begin immediately. This is usually done when the asbestos contamination is considered a danger to the public health.
How do I get started?
As stated in the previous section, the asbestos contamination process begins when you contact a Licensed Asbestos Consultant or Certified Industrial Hygienist that is NOT affiliated with the licensed asbestos abatement company that will perform the Procedure Plan 5 work.
After you have an approved Procedure 5 Plan in hand, you can then a licensed asbestos abatement company such as Alternative Technologies Inc.
Alternative Technologies Inc. has performed hundreds of Procedure 5 Plan asbestos clean ups and decontaminations in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Since 1992, they have successfully completed over 13,000 projects. This proves they have the experience to handle asbestos contamination correctly and professionally from start to finish. You can call them at 310-473-2509 or 818-700-8002 for more information or a no-cost referral to non-affiliated asbestos consultant.
In conclusion, most building or home owners will receive a Procedure 5 Plan once in their life. Therefore, you want to hire a licensed asbestos abatement company that excels at mitigating the concerns and expense.