News & Press

Bay Area Examines PCB Abatement Regulations for Building Demolition

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) demolition regulations are coming for the Bay Area. The Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) is currently working on regulations for abatement of PCBs on building demolition projects. PCBs exist in unhealthy quantities in the San Francisco Bay, and runoff from building demolition activities has been identified as a primary source.  The proposed regulations are designed to severely limit the quantity of PCBs entering the Bay’s water supply. 

Effective July 1, 2019, every agency in seven counties surrounding the Bay will be required to implement and enforce PCB regulations as part of demolition permit applications. Currently, four PCB containing materials are targeted for abatement prior to demolition. These are caulks, adhesives/mastics, thermal (pipe) insulation, and fiberglass insulation. The regulation will apply to buildings built between 1950 and 1980; it will exclude wood frame and residential buildings. It is currently expected to follow the definition of the Contractors State License Board C-21 Demolition classification in applying the regulation.

The regulation is not intended to address disposal of PCB containing waste; demo of related material recycling; health and safety requirements; abatement procedures; certification of assessment contractor (lab) or abatement contractor; training; approved service providers. The regulation will provide guidance to cities and counties for implementation.

PCB-containing materials demolition is not new; recent notable projects that incorporated removal of PCBs prior to full demolition were Candlestick Park, and the Bay Bridge. However, at present the removal of PCB containing material as a hazardous substance is voluntary and not required. This will change. 

AGC attended a Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, December 12 and learned that this initiative was originally intended to roll out Statewide; however due to time constraints it is limited at present to the San Francisco Bay Area.