What is a Procedure 5?
The simple answer is... Someone or something has caused a release of asbestos and as a result created a potentially dangerous cross-contamination situation that will require a specialized clean-up process. The term procedure 5 clean-up is a term that was created by the E.P.A. or locally called, Air Quality Management District, often referred to as AQMD. PEAS, has established itself as an Industry Leader in the handling of Procedure-5 clean-ups, we streamlined most protocols. Here is some useful information that may help you further understand the vital importance of having the handling of a procedure 5 clean-up plan.
AQMD Clearly outlines what is required for asbestos compliance in Rule 1403 which requires that you have a Certified Asbestos Consultant (no sampling yourself or non-certified companies,) test prior to any disturbance of suspect materials. If homeowners, contractors, Property Management companies, plumbers, handymen etc., just tested prior to any disturbance or remodel projects, it would save thousands of dollars.
Materials that are most common with procedure 5 clean-ups: Drywall-Actually, it is the joint compound around and, on the drywall, that usually will test positive at a regulated level (1% or greater is regulated by AQMD, less than 1% is OSHA regulated.) Either way, you need an abatement contractor to do it correctly, legally, and more importantly safely for both client and all the workers doing the soft demo on the jobsite.
Natural occurring Procedure-5: When disaster strikes as a result of, natural causes, i.e. earthquake, fire, flood, ceiling collapse, felled tree into a house or structure, etc.
Disturbance out of compliance, i.e. non-licensed contractors or homeowners doing remodels without first testing.
One of the biggest challenges is plumbing companies needing access to leaky pipes. You always just turn the water off at the main and start the testing process. Or in an emergency you can have an abatement contractor come and make a "Safe-cut" to provide the plumbing company access to make the necessary repair to get the water back on.
We specialize "Safe-cuts" in residential, commercial and industrial asbestos removal and services all of Southern California. Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Palm Springs and all of San Diego.
Common Q and A for Disturbance of Asbestos materials and Procedure 5 Clean-up Plans
How do I know what to do when asbestos emission has occurred?
First call is to a certified asbestos consultant, often referred to as a C.A.C. Which most testing companies have a C.A.C. on staff. They will come to the residential or commercial property and visually assess and then document the conditions of the disturbance. They will also take samples and mark their locations on a site map. The C.A.C. will fully document and photo archive all of the area(s) of potential cross-contamination. This will be used, if necessary, if any of the samples taken are determined to be an
asbestos containing material (ACM.) Then if the results of the testing are 1% or greater, the C.A.C. would usually always deem the situation one that requires specialized clean-up plans for an executed by a DOSH Certified asbestos abatement contractor. The information gathered on the initial site visit will be
written site specific to completely outline what needs to happen in a Procedure-5 Clean-up plan.
After the Procedure 5 clean-up has been written, what next?
This is where you find a Dosh certified abatement contractor to come to the property and compare the Procedure 5 clean-up plan to see what equipment, supplies, and labor that will be needed to execute the
plan precisely. Once you have approved PEAS to handle your decontamination project by documented contract, we would submit the plan to AQMD for approval. After review, AQMD normally grants the plan to
continue duly because the CAC has usually covered the plan comprehensively, but on occasion AQMD denies approval due to clarifications needed or additional information required.
As part of the approval process, one of the line items needed is whether this project qualifies as an emergency, which means, does it need to be done immediately because it poses a health threat to the
occupants or does it fall under a normal notification that requires a 10-working day waiting period. Usually contamination during remodels that are done a vacant house, or contamination in attics (outside of the
living space) do not qualify for an emergency clean-up resulting in a 10-working day waiting period. The reason for the waiting period is that it gives AQMD the opportunity to schedule a site visit to audit the
jobsite while the job is being executed to ensure compliance. For it to be classified as an emergency, there would need to be a situation that poses a health threat, the property would need to be occupied and the contamination in the living space. Natural occurring
procedure-5s usually always qualify, some water intrusion situations, disturb due to negligence, provided it is in an occupied property and in a living space, will often qualify as needing it done quickly.
After the approval of the procedure 5 clean-up plan has been granted by AQMD, what happens then?
The Dosh Certified abatement contractor will begin the plan execution on the date approved by AQMD. Depending on the severity of the contamination and how much personal content is to be cleaned or
disposed of properly, this can take days and in extreme conditions sometimes a week(s) to finish the project. In some cases, our practices require pictures of each item that is going to be cleaned or disposed
of through photo and written documentation. For example, in a living room, let's say a wall needed to be opened up to access and fix a water leak. For the case of this example the walls were not tested and
someone that wasn't certified to remove or disturb the drywall and joint compound. In most cases, the CAC will require the whole room to be decontaminated by disposing of all porous items (they can't be
verified cleaned.) That means that carpet, fabric couches, curtains, pillows, electronics, etc. Would need to be discarded as friable material and all lateral surfaces and non-porous items, such as coffee tables,
wood floor, etc. need to be isolated and cleaned.
After the abatement clean-5 plan is completed by the abatement contractor, I was told by the testing
company that a clearance is required. Is that true?
In a non-procedure-5 clean-up it would not be required, however it is strongly recommended by AQMD, but not required. But when there is a Procedure-5 clean-up in plan it is required to have
it cleared by a Certified Asbestos Consultant (C.A.C.)
What is a clearance?
A clearance is a process that ensures that the work area of an asbestos abatement project has been verified by visually and mechanically double checked to ensure the area is clear of asbestos
particles. The visual is conducted by walking the job and looking for any loose debris in or outside of the containment. What is meant by mechanically testing is by setting up air collection
pumps inside the containment area. The air pumps are placed in the containment area to collected air to determine if the air is safe to take down the containment. Once the area has been verbally cleared, it is safe to take down the containment and continue with the project. You will receive a hard copy of the findings usually within a day or two.