If an owner of a public or commercial building will be disturbing any building materials during the course of his or her renovation or demolition, the owner is required to have the materials surveyed for asbestos by a licensed asbestos professional. A survey is required regardless of the age of the building.
One exception to that rule can be found in the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules in section 295.34. It states that if a licensed asbestos inspector, a Texas-registered architect, or a Texas-licensed professional engineer reviews all of the building’s material safety data sheets and, subsequently, provide a written certification that no materials contain asbestos, then a building owner can use that certification in lieu of an asbestos survey.
All municipalities must ensure that building owners have an asbestos survey or written certification as described above prior to issuing any building permits for renovations or demolition. Cities do not have the authority to enforce the state and federal asbestos regulations; however, they do have the authority to withhold their own city permits if the asbestos requirements haven’t been met (this law went in to effect in 2002).
Building owners are held responsible for complying with these asbestos regulations. In many cases, owners may have their contracted asbestos professionals ensure that the requirements are met; however, the responsibility lies solely on the building owner.