Georgia was the first state to mine asbestos commercially and many of those mining sites remain contaminated to this dat. In addition, like many other states, processing asbestos contaminated ore and hosting military bases also brought possible asbestos contamination. The EPA and other federal organizations set regulations on asbestos, but it is the function of Georgia Environmental Protection Division to enforce these federal mandates by certifying and training asbestos abatement contractors and inspectors. Adhering to Georgia asbestos laws is essential to protecting yourself from harmful exposure and possible fines from improper handling of hazardous materials.
What is considered asbestos containing material in Georgia?
According to Georgia asbestos laws as well as federal, materials that are more than 1% asbestos in weight are ACMs. The law further clarifies the danger posed by the ACM by classifying it as friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos is the most dangerous and this is asbestos in its most natural form. This asbestos is fibrous and the fibers are visible to the human eye. Each fiber is made up of countless smaller fibers that are smaller than the width of a human hair. As friable asbestos is not sealed, the slightest human or other external contact will cause the material to be disturbed and when this happens, the small fibers will become an airborne hazard.
You must provide at least seven days’ notice and file the appropriate paperwork before beginning any project in a structure containing asbestos materials.
Who may remove asbestos under Georgia asbestos laws?
The removal or sealing of asbestos containing material may only be done by those that have completed a mandatory training course and paid an application fee of $100. The training course will cover safety while working with asbestos and common asbestos abatement procedure. In order to pass the course, the applicant must perform three successful abatement procedures under the supervision of the instructor. The contractor must also demonstrate competence in non-asbestos related contractor duties. All licenses are valid for three years.
May I remove asbestos containing materials myself under Georgia law?
You may remove asbestos containing materials without the use of a contractor or inspect as long as the items you are removing are less than ten linear or ten square feet of asbestos containing material. The structure must be critical to the individual’s business or profession in order to take advantage of this exemption. You must still adhere to all Georgia asbestos laws related to disposal of asbestos containing materials or risk the applicable fines.
Asbestos litigation in Georgia
Georgia asbestos laws do not contain provisions for those harmed by asbestos exposure to be compensated by the responsible party. Rather, the victim or the victim’s estate must file a civil suit against the responsible party. Complicating this are tort reform laws that limit all lawsuits, including those related to asbestos illnesses. A Georgia asbestos disease lawyer will help you organize your case explain how state laws affect your ability to claim damages as a result of asbestos illness.