What you need to know if you are a homeowner, property owner or contractor who plans to remove Chinese drywall from a building structure.
Can Broward County test the air in my home or test to see if I have Chinese drywall?
No. The Broward County Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division does not provide such testing services. We recommend you check the Yellow Pages under Environmental Consultants or Mold & Mildew Services. Some of the companies offering these services have the capability to test the air and test the drywall in your home.
Why is Chinese drywall a problem?
Drywall manufactured in China and installed in homes throughout the USA over the past few years is now causing very unpleasant indoor odors and is suspected of causing corrosion to plumbing, wiring, and other metal materials inside affected buildings. The only solution appears to be to removal and replacement of the troublesome drywall.
Are there environmental regulations that will affect removal of Chinese drywall?
Yes. The removal of Chinese drywall from residential and commercial buildings may be subject to federal, state, and county asbestos regulations. These rules are designed to protect the public from the potential release of asbestos fibers due to the disturbance of building materials that contain asbestos. There are also solid waste regulations that will affect how the material is disposed.
Who must comply with the asbestos regulations?
Whether a Chinese drywall removal project is subject to the asbestos regulations will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Following is general guidance on projects that must comply with the asbestos regulations;
If a private homeowner* hires a contractor to remove and replace the drywall, the project is exempt from the federal asbestos regulations, even if that contractor has been hired individually by other homeowners;
If a developer or contractor removes drywall as part of a larger project (e.g. an insurance settlement on homes that it has constructed) for more than four (4) single family homes, then that project is subject to the asbestos regulations.
* Homeowner - Owner/occupant of a single family residential structure with four or fewer dwelling units not
including townhomes and condominiums. Single family residences with multiple structures on the same site are also not exempt
Who should I contact to determine whether my project is subject to the asbestos regulations?
Anyone planning to engage in a Chinese drywall removal project is encouraged to contact the Broward County Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division (PPRAQ) at 954-519-1260 or by email at email@example.com to determine applicability and to review the requirements.
What must I do if my drywall removal project is subject to the asbestos regulations?
Any person initiating a project that is subject to the asbestos regulations must submit to the PPRAQ the following items at least ten (10) working days in advance of beginning work. These requirements are also described at Broward County Asbestos Program website:
A survey report prepared by a Florida Licensed Asbestos Consultant to determine the presence of regulated asbestos containing material in the drywall and in other materials being removed from the building structure.
What are the environmental requirements for disposing of solid waste generated from a Chinese drywall removal project?
In an Interim Drywall Disposal Guidance memo (PDF) dated May 28, 2009, Florida DEP recommends that construction and demolition (C&D) disposal facilities, as well as Class III landfills, develop management plans to segregate or refuse to accept dedicated loads of drywall, and instead, direct such dedicated loads to Class I landfills. If a C&D disposal facility or a Class III landfill elects to continue to accept dedicated loads of drywall, Florida DEP recommends that the operator apply at least six inches initial cover soil over the drywall preferably that day but at least weekly.
If you have additional questions concerning environmental regulations that affect the removal of Chinese drywall, please contact the Broward County Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division at 954-519-1260.
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