Compliance with asbestos removal notice at Echo House

Historic City News received word Wednesday that activist Ed Slavin has asked St Augustine city officials to delay approval of the permit to demolish the last remaining portion of the 1920’s era Echo House building until Ron Rawls and St Pauls AME Church can show that they have filed an advanced notice required by federal and state regulations noting that the demolition involves asbestos.

Asbestos is well-recognized as a health hazard and is highly regulated. In addition to federal regulations, the Division of Air Resource Management of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, administers an asbestos removal program under Chapter 62-257, Florida Administrative Code. The intent is to prevent the release of asbestos fibers to the outside air during demolition or renovation activities.

At least 10 working days before the project start date, Florida’s program requires prior notification to the Department on all demolitions and for the removal of asbestos-containing material from all applicable sources meeting or exceeding the thresholds identified in the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations.

Slavin has filed a request that the City not issue any demolition permits for Echo House without evidence of compliance with EPA Clean Air Act standards for asbestos removal; and, that Echo House asbestos contamination and remediation be placed on the agenda of the next available Friday Review meeting held by the Planning and Building Department. This request was directed to the City Clerk, City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Director of Planning and Building for the City of St Augustine.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the US Occupational Safety Health Administration asbestos regulations are intertwined in this area.

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