The use of asbestos in the United States and the damage it has caused to many families are clearly demonstrated in Pennsylvania. But it can be difficult for those affected to navigate all of the laws and regulations that apply. If you’re looking for a Pennsylvania asbestos regulations summary to learn how to stay safe, begin at the federal level, followed by state and local agencies, which provide enforcement and training.
Pennsylvania Asbestos Regulations Summary: Federal Agencies
Asbestos laws and regulations that apply in Pennsylvania begin at the federal level. The following federal agencies have regulations and regulatory authority that relate to asbestos in the Commonwealth:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA, in 1971, identified asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant, meaning it could lead to cancer or other serious health problems. Regulations control the release of asbestos fibers into the air during manufacturing, removal, transport, and disposal. Specific EPA regulations apply to handling and surveillance of asbestos in public schools, as well as the levels of asbestos permissible in public drinking water. It is the EPA that oversees clean-up of Superfund sites.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): This agency federal has regulations that are intended to protect workers who must work with or around asbestos and asbestos-containing products. OSHA regulations cover workers in general industrial-type jobs, construction jobs, and shipyard jobs, all of which play an important part in Pennsylvania’s economy.
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA): Much like the OSHA regulations, MSHA standards are meant to control worker exposure to asbestos and implement safety protocols for both surface mining and underground mining.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): As the name of the agency suggests, the CPSC can address products that consumers use that contain asbestos and may pose hazard to our health. In fact, the CPSC may ban certain materials or recall products that have proven to pose a risk to consumers. This agency publishes educational material for consumers about product safety and home hazards such as asbestos in the home.
Pennsylvania Asbestos Regulations Oversight: State and Local Agencies
DEP Controls Asbestos Removal in PA and Notification Requirements
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) enforces the federal regulations and other state regulations concerning the hazards of asbestos in Pennsylvania. The regulations apply to “the removal, collection, transportation, and disposal of Asbestos-Containing Material,” but these state regulations do not apply to private residences.
In addition, state DEP regulations address the notification requirements that must be given before asbestos abatement. Other enforcement agencies must be notified to ensure there aren’t additional regulations that govern the site where the abatement will occur.
PA-DLI and PA Asbestos Regulations
For sites that do not fall under the federal EPA regulations, it is the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PA-DLI) that takes responsibility for governing proper handling of asbestos and asbestos removal. The PA-DLI also enforces the certification and training requirements for those who will be involved in the removal or abatement of asbestos in Pennsylvania.
Municipal and County PA Asbestos Regulations
Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is situated, has oversight of asbestos in that county, and Philadelphia asbestos regulations controls and asbestos activity in that county. Other localities may have ordinances that address asbestos located within their jurisdictions or may participate in asbestos removal from sites where the public is impacted. For example, the Montgomery County administers loan funds for cleaning up sites within its borders—the location of BoRit Superfund (Ambler, PA) site.
Questions about Our Pennsylvania Laws or Regulations Governing Asbestos?
Pennsylvania has a strong history of industry heavily involved with asbestos—asbestos mining, coal mining, steel production, ship building, manufacturing, and construction. Our simple Pennsylvania asbestos regulations summary clearly shows that there are dozens of regulations and agencies involved with asbestos oversight. Yet it has become increasingly difficult for victims of this dangerous substance to receive compensation for preventable diseases caused by asbestos, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
If you or a family member are a victim of asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania, it is important to get help in understanding your rights. Regulations and laws change, and it is very important that your claim is filed quickly to comply with the statute of limitations.
Nemeroff Law Firm has the experienced asbestos attorneys you need to be successful in getting a financial recovery, and we keep up with all changes to federal and Pennsylvania asbestos regulations. Call us right away at 866-342-1929, or complete our Contact form to get started with a free case evaluation.