DEQ Clears Up Asbestos Rules

Portland, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued permanent rules on the removal and disposal of asbestos. The regulations clarify definitions that classify asbestos-containing material as "friable," which means it easily releases fibers, or "nonfriable." The rules also clarify waste-handling requirements for specific nonfriable asbestos. DEQ will form an advisory committee this fall to resolve implementation and enforcement concerns. The regulations remove some requirements adopted in January 2002 that the DEQ feared could be too loosely interpreted and impose a greater-than-necessary economic burden on solid waste haulers, building owners and facility operators.