Asbestos Laws and Regulations

This page provides a listing of the laws and regulations pertaining to asbestos implemented by the EPA and certain other federal agencies. See more information on U.S. Federal Bans on Asbestos.

EPA Asbestos-Related Laws

EPA Asbestos Regulations

Other Federal Agencies with Asbestos Regulations

EPA Asbestos-Related Laws

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) (Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title II)
This law required EPA to promulgate regulations (e.g., the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule) requiring local educational agencies to inspect their school buildings for asbestos-containing building material, prepare asbestos management plans and perform asbestos response actions to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. AHERA also tasked EPA with developing a model plan for states for accrediting persons conducting asbestos inspection and corrective-action activities at schools. The Toxic Substances Control Act defines asbestos as the asbestiform varieties of: chrysotile (serpentine); crocidolite (riebeckite); amosite (cummingtonite/grunerite); anthophyllite; tremolite; and actinolite.

Asbestos Information Act (Public Law 100-577)
This law helped to provide transparency and identify the companies making certain types of asbestos-containing products by requiring manufacturers to report production to the EPA.

Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act (ASHARA)
This law extended funding for the asbestos abatement loan and grant program for schools. ASHARA also directed EPA to increase the number of training hours required for the training disciplines under the Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP) and to expand the accreditation requirements to cover asbestos abatement projects in all public and commercial buildings in addition to schools.

Docket ID: OPTS-62048E; FRL-3269-8

Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 USC § 7401 et seq.)
This law defines the EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer and includes provisions for the EPA to set national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants, including asbestos.

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that helps ensure the quality of Americans' drinking water. Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.

See more on asbestos in drinking water

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) 

This law, also known as Superfund, was enacted to address abandoned hazardous waste sites in the U.S. The law has subsequently been amended, by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), and the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002. CERCLA authority may be appropriate to respond to the release or potential release of asbestos into the environment.

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EPA Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule
Pursuant to the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools rule requires local education agencies to inspect their school buildings for asbestos-containing building material, prepare asbestos management plans and perform asbestos response actions to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. Public school districts and non-profit private schools, including charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions (collectively called local education agencies) are subject to the rule’s requirements.

Docket ID: OPTS-62048E; FRL-3269-8

EPA Asbestos Worker Protection Rule
Through the authority of Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) the EPA extended worker protection requirements to state and local government employees involved in asbestos work who were not previously covered by the the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) asbestos regulations.

Docket ID: OPPTS-62125B; FRL-6751-3

Asbestos Ban and Phaseout Rule (Remanded )
On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule banning most asbestos-containing products. In 1991, this regulation was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, as a result of the Court's decision, only a few asbestos-containing products remain banned.

See Asbestos Ban and Phase-out Federal Register notices.

Docket ID: OPTS-62048E; FRL-3269-8

Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)
The asbestos NESHAP regulations specify work practices for asbestos to be followed during demolitions and renovations of all structures, installations, and buildings (excluding residential buildings that have four or fewer dwelling units). The regulations require the owner of the building or the operator to notify the appropriate state agency before any demolition, or before any renovations of buildings that could contain a certain threshold amount of asbestos or asbestos-containing material. In addition, particular manufacturing and fabricating operations either cannot emit visible emissions into the outside air or must follow air cleaning procedures, as well as follow certain requirements when removing asbestos-containing waste.

Docket ID: OAR–2002–0082, FRL–7561–2

CERCLA Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities

Asbestos is designated as a hazardous substance with a reportable quantity in the Superfund regulations.


Other Federal Agencies with Asbestos Regulations

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA oversees the working conditions for U.S. workers by implementing and managing occupational safety and health standards. The following regulations pertain to handling asbestos in the workplace.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC protects consumers and families from consumer products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. Below are the following CPSC bans or restrictions on asbestos-containing products:

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
MSHA is responsible for overseeing the safety and health of miners in the U.S. The following MSHA regulations apply to asbestos in mines: