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Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards – Asbestos Regulation, 454 CMR 28.00

August 3, 2021

On April 2, 2021, the new Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (MassDLS) Asbestos Regulation, 454 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 28.00, became effective. This regulation titled “The Removal, Containment, Maintenance, or Encapsulation of Asbestos” generally covers A through Z of Asbestos Work Practices in Massachusetts from Worker Protection Requirements to Responsibility of Compliance. It replaced the previous MassDLS Asbestos Regulation, 453 CMR 6.00 titled “The Removal, Containment, or Encapsulation of Asbestos” published in 1998.

A few inclusions to note within the new 454 CMR 28.00 regulatory standards are professional training/certification for individual licensure, the new requirement of MassDLS certification for companies to provide asbestos consulting services, final clearance requirements, air sample analysts requirements as well as the responsibilities of the owner/operator of the facility.

Prior to April 2, 2021, it was not uncommon in Massachusetts for the Abatement Contractor to contract directly with and provide a project monitor (i.e. third party hygienist) to perform the required final visual and air clearance activities for facilities not subject to Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requirements (i.e. public and private K-12 non-profit schools). Unlike the old ways of doing business for the Abatement Contractor, the new MassDLS regulation 454 CMR 28.10 (9), “Clearance Monitoring Procedures”,  specifically states that the Abatement Contractor is not permitted to contract with the project monitor and that particular service is to be retained/contracted by the owner/operator. Many questions and concerns have been raised around this new regulatory standard requiring the owner/operator to directly contract with the project monitor.

MassDLS’s June 2021 Frequent Questions and Answers document provides clarification that the General Contractors or entities other than the owner/operator (i.e. architects, owners project managers, etc.) are permitted to contract with and retain both the Abatement Contractor and Project Monitor for the same projects. MassDLS’s goal of the new regulatory standard “Clearance Monitoring Procedures” is to ensure that the Asbestos Contractor and Project Monitor are separate from each other and do not create a conflict of interest.

Discussions among the Abatement Contractor Companies indicate that they are now recommending Project Monitoring Companies to the owners/operators so they can contract with them directly.

How Can VERTEX Help?

VERTEX has experienced MassDLS certified/licensed Project Monitors to serve your needs beyond the required Final Visual and Air Clearance Services. VERTEX’s Project Monitors also provide baseline air sampling, negative exposure assessments (NEA), background/perimeter air sampling, and compliance monitoring to protect client liability and to ensure the project is completed to regulatory standards.

To learn more about VERTEX’s Industrial Hygiene & Building Sciences services or to speak with an Environmental Expert, call 888.298.5162 or submit an inquiry.

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