[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 243 (Tuesday, December 19, 1995)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65243-65244]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-30790]


40 CFR Part 61


Asbestos NESHAP Clarification Regarding Analysis of Multi-Layered 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of clarification to the final rule.


SUMMARY: This document provides clarification regarding the 
requirements of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air 
Pollutants (NESHAP) for asbestos. It is intended to address common 
questions regarding situations where one or more layers which may 
contain asbestos are present, and supplement the January 5, 1994 
Federal Register clarification (59 FR 542).

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 19, 1995.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For copies, contact Mr. Larry Tessier 
at 1-800-368-5888 or at (703) 305-5938. For questions about the 
clarification, please contact Mr. Tom Ripp at (202) 564-7003.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 20, 1990, the Federal Register 
published the Environmental Protection Agency's (the Agency's) revision 
of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for 
Asbestos (asbestos NESHAP), 40 CFR part 61, subpart M, 55 FR 48406. The 
asbestos NESHAP applies to any facility as defined in 40 CFR 61.141. 
The Agency has learned that some of the regulated community have 
further questions concerning the analysis of samples which may contain 
multiple layers, any or all of which may be asbestos containing 
materials (ACM) under the asbestos NESHAP. Because these questions are 
frequently asked, EPA is making this clarification.

I. Clarification of Multi-Layered ACM System

    At the time the original asbestos NESHAP was promulgated (April 6, 
1973), a standardized reference method had not been developed to 
determine quantitatively the content of asbestos in a material. The 
definition for ``friable asbestos material'' was added in the October 
14, 1975 asbestos NESHAP, but still did not specify an analytical 
method. EPA's unwritten policy based on the definition of ``friable 
asbestos material'' was that each layer in a multi-layered system was 
to be analyzed as a separate material (no averaging or dilution by 
combining layers of asbestos-containing material with nonasbestos-
containing material was allowed). The November 20, 1990 revision of the 
asbestos NESHAP finally specified that Appendix A, Subpart F, 40 CFR 
Part 763, Section 1, Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM method) be used to 
determine whether or not a material contains greater that one percent 
asbestos. Section of the PLM method states that ``* * * When 
discrete strata are identified, each is treated as a separate material 
so that fibers are first quantified in that layer only, and then the 
results for each layer are combined to yield an estimate of asbestos 
content for the whole sample.'' This language has led to considerable 
confusion as to how to analyze multi-layered samples for NESHAP 
purposes. EPA published a clarification regarding the analysis of 
multi-layered systems in the January 5, 1994 Federal Register. This 
clarification basically stated that all multi-layered systems except 
for wall systems where joint compound was used only at the joints and 
nail holes must be analyzed as separate materials, and results were not 
allowed to be combined to determine average asbestos content 
(continuing the policy that dilution of an asbestos-containing material 
is not allowed).
    The Environmental Protection Agency has received many questions 
about analyzing multi-layered systems for asbestos content to determine 
the applicability of the asbestos NESHAP since its January 5, 1994 
clarification (59 FR 542). This clarification reiterates EPA's position 
for analysis of multi-layered samples for applicability of the asbestos 
    This clarification applies to all multi-layered systems (other than 
wallboard systems where asbestos-containing joint compound is used only 
at the joints and nail holes) under both the NESHAP and the Asbestos 
Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) (40 CFR Part 763) programs.
    Any source sending multi-layered bulk samples to a lab may request 
that certain sample(s) or portions of sample(s) be composited for 
analysis first (to potentially reduce time and cost of sampling).

    (Note: A composite sample does not mean that multiple samples 
may be composited into one sample. It means that multiple layers of 
one core sample may be composited for analysis.)

    If this alternative method is chosen, then the following 
requirements must be followed. To analyze the composite sample, the 
procedures in EPA/600-93/116 ``Method for the Determination of Asbestos 
in Bulk Building Materials'' (``the Method''), specifically Section 2.3 
``Gravimetry,'' must be used. Additionally, for the composite sample, 
the recommendations in Appendix D of the method must be followed. This 
procedure is consistent with the procedures outlined in 40 CFR Part 
763, Appendix E to Subpart E (formerly Appendix A to Subpart F), which 
is referenced in the asbestos NESHAP (40 CFR 61.141 and 61.146), but 
the procedures in the new method are more clear. EPA finds that this 
method is an acceptable alternative method of compliance under section 
61.13(h)(1)(ii). EPA intends to amend the asbestos NESHAP in the near 
future to refer specifically to these procedures. When using the 
gravimetric procedures, the result may be recorded as percent asbestos 
by weight.
    If the result of the composite analysis shows that the average 
content for the multi-layered system (across the layers) is greater 
than one percent, then the multi-layered system must be treated as 
asbestos-containing and analysis by layers is not necessary. If the 
result of the composite sample analysis indicates that the multi-
layered system as a whole contains asbestos in the amount of one 
percent or less, but greater than none detected, then analysis by 
layers is required to ensure that no layer in the system contains 
greater than one percent asbestos. If any layer contains greater than 
one percent asbestos, that layer must be treated as asbestos-
containing. This will have the effect of requiring all layers in a 
multi-layered system to be treated as asbestos-containing if the layers 
can not be separated without disturbing the asbestos-containing layer. 
Once any one layer is shown to have greater than one percent asbestos, 
further analysis of the other layers is not necessary if all the layers 
will be treated as asbestos-containing. If several of the layers will 
be removed without removing the entire system, then all layers that 
will be disturbed must be analyzed. This includes the material being 
removed; however, the material being removed may be analyzed using the 
composite analysis procedures. Please note that the same requirements 
to perform point counting as stated in our May 8, 1991 clarification 
(see enclosed memorandum) still apply for any layers being analyzed 

[[Page 65244]]

    Dated: September 28, 1995.
Richard Biondi,
Acting Director, Manufacturing, Energy, and Transportation Division, 
Office of Compliance.
[FR Doc. 95-30790 Filed 12-18-95; 8:45 am]