Asbestos Wastes

Appendix D to Subpart E of Part 763—Transport and Disposal of Asbestos Waste

For the purposes of this appendix, transport is defined as all activities from receipt of the containerized asbestos waste at the generation site until it has been unloaded at the disposal site. Current EPA regulations state that there must be no visible emissions to the outside air during waste transport. However, recognizing the potential hazards and subsequent liabilities associated with exposure, the following additional precautions are recommended.

Recordkeeping. Before accepting wastes, a transporter should determine if the waste is properly wetted and containerized. The transporter should then require a chain-of-custody form signed by the generator. A chain-of-custody form may include the name and address of the generator, the name and address of the pickup site, the estimated quantity of asbestos waste, types of containers used, and the destination of the waste. The chain-of-custody form should then be signed over to a disposal site operator to transfer responsibility for the asbestos waste. A copy of the form signed by the disposal site operator should be maintained by the transporter as evidence of receipt at the disposal site.

Waste handling. A transporter should ensure that the asbestos waste is properly contained in leak-tight containers with appropriate labels, and that the outside surfaces of the containers are not contaminated with asbestos debris adhering to the containers. If there is reason to believe that the condition of the asbestos waste may allow significant fiber release, the transporter should not accept the waste. Improper containerization of wastes is a violation of the NESHAPs regulation and should be reported to the appropriate EPA Regional Asbestos NESHAPs contact below:

Region I

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Office of Environmental Stewardship, USEPA, Region I, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912, (617) 918-1551.

Region II

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air & Waste Management Division, USEPA, Region II, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10007, (212) 264-6770.

Region III

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air Management Division, USEPA, Region III, 841 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 597-9325.

Region IV

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air, Pesticide & Toxic Management, USEPA, Region IV, 345 Courtland Street, NE., Atlanta, GA 30365, (404) 347-4298.

Region V

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air Management Division, USEPA, Region V, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 353-6793.

Region VI

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air & Waste Management Division, USEPA, Region VI, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202, (214) 655-7229.

Region VII

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air and Waste Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. (800) 223-0425 or (913) 551-7122.

Region VIII

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air & Waste Management Division, USEPA, Region VIII, 999 18th Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 293-1814.

Region IX

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air Division, USEPA, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3989.

Region X

Asbestos NESHAPs Contact, Air & Toxics Management Division, USEPA, Region X, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 442-2724.

Once the transporter is satisfied with the condition of the asbestos waste and agrees to handle it, the containers should be loaded into the transport vehicle in a careful manner to prevent breaking of the containers. Similarly, at the disposal site, the asbestos waste containers should be transferred carefully to avoid fiber release.

Waste transport. Although there are no regulatory specifications regarding the transport vehicle, it is recommended that vehicles used for transport of containerized asbestos waste have an enclosed carrying compartment or utilize a canvas covering sufficient to contain the transported waste, prevent damage to containers, and prevent fiber release. Transport of large quantities of asbestos waste is commonly conducted in a 20-cubic-yard “roll off” box, which should also be covered. Vehicles that use compactors to reduce waste volume should not be used because these will cause the waste containers to rupture. Vacuum trucks used to transport waste slurry must be inspected to ensure that water is not leaking from the truck.

Disposal involves the isolation of asbestos waste material in order to prevent fiber release to air or water. Landfilling is recommended as an environmentally sound isolation method because asbestos fibers are virtually immobile in soil. Other disposal techniques such as incineration or chemical treatment are not feasible due to the unique properties of asbestos. EPA has established asbestos disposal requirements for active and inactive disposal sites under NESHAPs (40 CFR Part 61, subpart M) and specifies general requirements for solid waste disposal under RCRA (40 CFR Part 257). Advance EPA notification of the intended disposal site is required by NESHAPs.

Selecting a disposal facility. An acceptable disposal facility for asbestos wastes must adhere to EPA's requirements of no visible emissions to the air during disposal, or minimizing emissions by covering the waste within 24 hours. The minimum required cover is 6 inches of nonasbestos material, normally soil, or a dust-suppressing chemical. In addition to these Federal requirements, many state or local government agencies require more stringent handling procedures. These agencies usually supply a list of “approved” or licensed asbestos disposal sites upon request. Solid waste control agencies are listed in local telephone directories under state, county, or city headings. A list of state solid waste agencies may be obtained by calling the RCRA hotline: 1-800-424-9346 (382-3000 in Washington, DC). Some landfill owners or operators place special requirements on asbestos waste, such as placing all bagged waste into 55-gallon metal drums. Therefore, asbestos removal contractors should contact the intended landfill before arriving with the waste.

Receiving asbestos waste. A landfill approved for receipt of asbestos waste should require notification by the waste hauler that the load contains asbestos. The landfill operator should inspect the loads to verify that asbestos waste is properly contained in leak-tight containers and labeled appropriately. The appropriate EPA Regional Asbestos NESHAPs Contact should be notified if the landfill operator believes that the asbestos waste is in a condition that may cause significant fiber release during disposal. In situations when the wastes are not properly containerized, the landfill operator should thoroughly soak the asbestos with a water spray prior to unloading, rinse out the truck, and immediately cover the wastes with nonasbestos material prior to compacting the waste in the landfill.

Waste deposition and covering. Recognizing the health dangers associated with asbestos exposure, the following procedures are recommended to augment current federal requirements:

  Designate a separate area for asbestos waste disposal. Provide a record for future landowners that asbestos waste has been buried there and that it would be hazardous to attempt to excavate that area. (Future regulations may require property deeds to identify the location of any asbestos wastes and warn against excavation.)

  Prepare a separate trench to receive asbestos wastes. The size of the trench will depend upon the quantity and frequency of asbestos waste delivered to the disposal site. The trenching technique allows application of soil cover without disturbing the asbestos waste containers. The trench should be ramped to allow the transport vehicle to back into it, and the trench should be as narrow as possible to reduce the amount of cover required. If possible, the trench should be aligned perpendicular to prevailing winds.

  Place the asbestos waste containers into the trench carefully to avoid breaking them. Be particularly careful with plastic bags because when they break under pressure asbestos particles can be emitted.

  Completely cover the containerized waste within 24 hours with a minimum of 6 inches of nonasbestos material. Improperly containerized waste is a violation of the NESHAPs and EPA should be notified.

However, if improperly containerized waste is received at the disposal site, it should be covered immediately after unloading. Only after the wastes, including properly containerized wastes, are completely covered, can the wastes be compacted or other heavy equipment run over it. During compacting, avoid exposing wastes to the air or tracking asbestos material away from the trench.

  For final closure of an area containing asbestos waste, cover with at least an additional 30 inches of compacted nonasbestos material to provide a 36-inch final cover. To control erosion of the final cover, it should be properly graded and vegetated. In areas of the United States where excessive soil erosion may occur or the frost line exceeds 3 feet, additional final cover is recommended. In desert areas where vegetation would be difficult to maintain, 3-6 inches of well graded crushed rock is recommended for placement on top of the final cover.

Controlling public access. Under the current NESHAPs regulation, EPA does not require that a landfill used for asbestos disposal use warning signs or fencing if it meets the requirement to cover asbestos wastes. However, under RCRA, EPA requires that access be controlled to prevent exposure of the public to potential health and safety hazards at the disposal site. Therefore, for liability protection of operators of landfills that handle asbestos, fencing and warning signs are recommended to control public access when natural barriers do not exist. Access to a landfill should be limited to one or two entrances with gates that can be locked when left unattended. Fencing should be installed around the perimeter of the disposal site in a manner adequate to deter access by the general public. Chain-link fencing, 6-ft high and topped with a barbed wire guard, should be used. More specific fencing requirements may be specified by local regulations. Warning signs should be displayed at all entrances and at intervals of 330 feet or less along the property line of the landfill or perimeter of the sections where asbestos waste is deposited. The sign should read as follows:



Recordkeeping. For protection from liability, and considering possible future requirements for notification on disposal site deeds, a landfill owner should maintain documentation of the specific location and quantity of the buried asbestos wastes. In addition, the estimated depth of the waste below the surface should be recorded whenever a landfill section is closed. As mentioned previously, such information should be recorded in the land deed or other record along with a notice warning against excavation of the area.

[52 FR 41897, Oct. 30, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 1834, Jan. 14, 1997; 75 FR 69353, Nov. 12, 2010; 76 FR 49674, Aug. 11, 2011; 78 FR 37978, June 25, 2013]