Louisville's Asbestos Program

The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District enforces asbestos regulations in Louisville by issuing permits, inspecting asbestos removal sites, and investigating reports of illegal asbestos removal.

A brief overview of the asbestos program can be found below. If you have any questions or if you observe improper removal or disposal of asbestos, you are encouraged to contact the asbestos program.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a general term for a group of fibrous minerals (primarily chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite) that have long been used as fireproof insulation and as a strengthener in pipe insulation, roofing tiles, floor tiles, wall coverings and other materials. Undisturbed asbestos-containing material (ACM) is not dangerous. But when asbestos-containing material is broken or torn, as during remodeling or demolition, the fibers can be spread into the air, especially if the material is friable (crumbly).

Studies have shown that inhaling high concentrations of these fibers can over time cause a disease called asbestosis, lung cancer, and another type of cancer called mesothelioma. In asbestosis, delicate lung tissue is damaged by the body's own attempts to remove embedded fibers. Mesothelioma can develop in the lining (pleura) of the lung or in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). Symptoms of lung cancer or mesothelioma usually do not appear for 15 to 30 years after exposure; for asbestosis, the latency period is 25 to 40 years.

Asbestos Rules in Louisville

Special training and equipment are required to safely remove ACM. For this reason, federal and local regulations require a permit and the use of a licensed contractor for removal from any structure other than a private residence or apartment building with no more than four units.

Prior to any activity that involves the disturbance of ACM, it is your responsibility to know and follow local laws and to obtain required permits. In accordance with APCD Regulations 5.04 and 5.13, the APCD regulates renovation, demolition, or building clean-up activity that involves the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). The APCD may require a permit for projects that do not require permits elsewhere in the state, so it is important to read and understand regulations in full. 

It is also encouraged that you read more on providing a description of the planned demolition or renovation, performing a thorough inspection before conducting demolition or renovation, and what must occur for an event to qualify as an emergency with the need for ACM abatement.

The forms that must be filled out to receive asbestos-related permits can be found here. Read each form carefully, and contact the asbestos program if you have any questions. You can also find more information here on applying for an APCD Asbestos Removal Permit.

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