Minimizing & Preventing NOA

The District believes that the best and most effective approach to minimizing and preventing impacts from naturally-occurring asbestos is a proactive program designed to minimize and control soil disturbance and thereby limit the release into the air of fine particulate matter, including any asbestos fibers that may be present. This approach is one that is endorsed by the conclusions of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) Health Consultation for El Dorado Hills, El Dorado County, and through the State Air Resources Board’s adoption of regulations that the District enforces to control and manage dust in areas where Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) may be present.

Since 1986 the District has had a control measure restricting the use of asbestos-containing materials in road surfacing applications, one of the earliest adopted in the State, and far in advance of the State Air Resources Board adoption in 1990 of the Asbestos Air Toxic Control Measure for Asbestos-Containing Serpentine Asbestos (revised and re-titled in 2001 as the Asbestos Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Surfacing Applications).

Local Dust Control

Among other steps taken independently by the District is the adoption of a local dust control regulation, Rule 228, Fugitive Dust (PDF), in 2003 that is one of the most stringent in the state. This local regulation goes beyond the state's measures by providing standards for the control of sources of fugitive dust, including dust from construction activities, and is not limited in applicability to areas where NOA is found.

Recently, a Dust Control Plan Instructions and Application (PDF) document developed to assist in the enforcement of Rule 228 requirements has been finalized with an effective date of May 1, 2010. The District requires that if an area to be disturbed is greater than one acre, and if established as a Condition of Approval of a discretionary permit, a Dust Control Plan is required. Use of the Dust Control Plan Instructions and Application form is encouraged as submission of an original plan may be subject to increased fees if additional review time is required in the approval process.

Naturally-Occurring Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan

In areas identified as having a higher probability for the presence of NOA and where NOA, or rock potentially containing NOA is known to be located, the District enforces the implementation of the State's Asbestos Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Construction, Grading, Quarrying, and Surface Mining Operations (ATCM). Recently, a Naturally-Occurring Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan (ADMP) Guidance (PDF) intended to assist in the enforcement and implementation of the State’s Asbestos ATCM and District Rule 228, has been finalized with an effective date of May 1, 2010. The Guidance contains an Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan Application form that will serve as the applicant’s Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan upon approval by the District. Use of the ADMP Guidance Application form is encouraged as submission of an original plan will be subject to increased fees due to additional review time required in the approval process.

The District recognizes that neither the fugitive dust rule nor the State’s asbestos control measures are effective without dissemination of the requirements to construction companies and enforcement. Beginning in fiscal year 2002 to 2003 the District enhanced its presence in the field by adding staff to conduct patrols throughout the County for dust violations and to visit construction sites.

Reporting Dust

The District has advised all land use and public works departments of all Placer County jurisdictions of the requirements for NOA control in land development and construction, and has allied with willing jurisdictions to enforce the dust control and NOA control requirements. The District has also conducted out-reach to construction firms operating in Placer County. Among the public out-reach efforts has been the development of an informational brochure for homeowners and renters (PDF), and a contract with the California Geological Survey of the Department of Conservation to develop improved maps of potential naturally-occurring asbestos areas in Placer County to aid the public in identifying these areas of concern. The District seeks to further educate the public and to partner with Placer County jurisdictions to more effectively manage both NOA and dust.

Members of the public can aid the District in controlling dust, in general, by reporting any dust from construction sites and from other activities where soil is disturbed. In particular, it is of concern to the District if the dust crosses a property line or a public road, or if a plume of dust rises into the air. Contact the District at 530-745-2330. After hours or on weekends, a call to that number will be routed to the Placer County Sheriff's Dispatch Office, to notify District on-call staff.