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Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used for a wide variety of building components until the mid-1970s, when concern over airborne asbestos fibers and their health effects became widespread. Although the use of ACMs in buildings was restricted in the 1970s, ACMs have been identified in buildings constructed in the 1980s.
To address our clients' concerns about ACMs, SCS assists real estate developers, facility owners, and financial institutions in identifying and managing ACMs. Typical clients facilities include the following:
Normally, SCS services begin with a comprehensive inspection and sampling of suspected ACMs, followed by recommendations regarding appropriate management and abatement strategies.
Depending on the condition and location of ACMs within a building, it may be possible to isolate an ACM (rather than removing it) at considerable savings to the client, while still protecting human health. Subsequent phases of SCS services include abatement plans and specifications, operation and maintenance (O&M) plans, hazard evaluations, and air monitoring.
SCS is one of a handful of firms with qualified engineers and geologists who provide asbestos services for sites containing naturally occurring asbestos. Construction activities at such sites require proper planning and monitoring to ensure that worker exposure is mitigated, without bringing construction activities to a standstill.
SCS staff have performed numerous asbestos surveys over the past 10 years. These surveys have also coincided with Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Professionals at SCS are capable of identifying a suspected ACM as well as other environmental hazards.
The intent of the asbestos survey is to identify suspected ACMs at a specific project site. The survey is accomplished by a review of building plans and records, and a visual examination of the project site to determine if suspected ACMs are present. Representative samples of a suspected ACM are collected, its location documented, and quantity estimated. Samples are then submitted to an accredited laboratory for testing. SCS prepares an asbestos survey report, which typically consists of a description of each type of suspected ACM identified, its condition (friable or nonfriable), a summary of laboratory results, and an estimation of the quantity of ACMs present at the project site.
Abatement Plans & Specifications
SCS staff have developed abatement plans and specifications for the removal of ACMs. Abatement plans and specifications are formulated by AHERA-accredited Project Designers, in accordance with OSHA and federal EPA regulations. Where appropriate, abatement plans and specifications follow laws stipulated by state and local environmental and state occupational safety and health agencies (OSHAs).
The intent of abatement oversight is to observe a contractor's performance to ensure that no environmental hazards are created, and to document the asbestos removal effort. SCS does this with qualified staff who have both construction and asbestos related experience.
Operation & Maintenance Programs
Operation & Maintenance programs provide guidance for conducting routine activities while guarding against ACM disturbance. OSHA regulations are mandated to safeguard workers against overexposure to concentrations of asbestos fibers in the air during an O&M activity.
SCS offers O&M plans that are designed to maintain the safe condition of ACMs within a building. These plans contain procedures for controlling asbestos exposure, such as minor patching or repairs and improved custodial practices and maintenance procedures.
Hazard Evaluation and Air Monitoring
SCS's hazard evaluation considers issues such as the presence of friable versus nonfriable ACMs, the location of friable ACMs, the potential for disturbance of ACMs, indoor concentration levels of airborne asbestos fibers, programs to minimize the potential for asbestos exposure, and facility activities.
Air monitoring can provide an objective measure of hazardous conditions that may exist by determining the level of airborne asbestos fibers at a project site.
Naturally Occurring Asbestos
SCS provides asbestos services for sites that contain naturally occurring asbestos; typically, these sites are quarries, road or grading projects, construction or demolition sites, or landfills. SCS designs plans for construction activities that provide monitoring of the ambient air to determine worker exposure, and guidance and training regarding personal protective equipment, if airborne asbestos is identified. SCS plans also outline proper reporting procedures for monitoring results, and methods to minimize the release of asbestos fibers caused by construction activities.