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Asbestos Abatement Projects

Asbestos sign on a containment unit

Some buildings on campus have asbestos containing building materials (ACM), such as floor tile and/or mastic, ceiling tile, pipe insulation, or other components. Emergency response, such as to a burst pipe, or renovation of a space may involve abatement of ACM. Asbestos abatement activities are heavily regulated by federal and state agencies, such as OSHA and EPA. Virginia Tech takes multiple steps to ensure those engaged in asbestos abatement activities are performing the work in compliance with all rules and regulations, and in a manner to eliminate or significantly reduce the potential release of asbestos fibers outside of asbestos containment units.

Asbestos Abatement Contractors

Asbestos abatement contractors are specifically hired to removed ACM on campus, and must:

  • Be licensed to perform asbestos abatement activities,
  • Have a licensed Asbestos Supervisor on site during abatement activities, 
  • Use only licensed Asbestos Workers,
  • Perform work in a containment unit with negative pressure or a glove bag, as appropriate,
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as respirators, tyvek suits, gloves, safety glasses, etc.
  • Follow established means and methods of removal, such as wet methods, chemical solvents, HEPA vacuums, wet/damp cleaning, etc., and
  • Properly handle waste materials. 


Project Monitoring

Virginia Tech hires a Project Monitor (PM) to provide oversight of the asbestos abatement projects, and to ensure the integrity of abatement activities. Human health and environment are primary concerns for the PM and the university. In addition to observing and monitoring abatement activities, they collect air samples during the project, perform visual inspections for cleaning activities, and grant final air clearance upon completion of the job before the contractor is released. More information regarding Project Monitoring responsibilities can be found here.

Building Occupants

The majority of asbestos abatement actities occur in restricted areas,  such as mechanical rooms or construction sites. Where possible, such activities occur when the building/department occupancy load is greatly reduced and limited to authorized/trained personnel only.

Limited building occupancy may include continuation of custodial services, mail/delivery services, other trade groups performing separate work activities, or other contactor projects.

  • Personnel must observe any signage posted on containment units and never enter without permission and proper training and personal protective equipment. 
  • If you notice asbestos abatement activities which do not appear to be in compliance with regulatory requirements, please contact your supervisor for guidance, and/or the VT Renovations Project Manager specified on VT Repair notices or postings with concerns that may need to be addressed with the contractor.


The university's Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Program will provide comprehensive information regarding the intentional disturbance/abatement of ACM, accidental disturbances, historical data, oversight of abatement activities, personnel safety and health, etc. on campus or university owned properties. 

Basic information regarding asbestos hazards and health concerns is available on OSHA's website here.