Asbestos and Lead Information for Property Owners

Asbestos and Lead Information for Property Owners

Look up EMP Compliance Statements or File your EMP Compliance Statement

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The information below is for:

  • Homeowners
  • Rental property owners
  • Property managers
  • Commercial building owners

Asbestos and lead pose health risks, and they may be found in buildings and other structures. Because of this, the Health Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have specific requirements for the maintenance, renovation and demolition of buildings and other structures.

Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are only dangerous when they are disturbed or handled incorrectly. If ACMs are not handled properly, asbestos particles can be breathed in. Even a small amount of ACM can cause health effects.  

Lead-based paint becomes a hazard when it is disturbed. This can be from chipping and peeling paint, when painted surfaces rub together, or when the paint is not properly sanded, scraped or burned. If lead-based paint is not handled properly, lead dust can be breathed in or swallowed by workers and by people, especially children, who use the building or other structure.

Learn more about the hazards and health effects of lead and asbestos

What do I need to know before beginning a renovation or repair?

ASBESTOS

For Homeowners

Homeowners are required to follow the methods for handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) (see Section 1.1.6). Unsafe handling of asbestos-containing materials often leads to the need for asbestos cleanup by a Vermont-licensed asbestos contractor. Please call the Health Department for questions on safe handling and removal of ACM at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov.

If you hire an asbestos contractor, the contractor must be licensed by the State of Vermont and follow all required work practices. Find a licensed asbestos contractor

For Owners of Rental, Public or Commercial Buildings

  1. Before renovating a building, an inspection is required and must be conducted by a Vermont-certified asbestos inspector.
  2. Follow all asbestos-related requirements.

If the inspector finds ACM in the building:

  • The ACM must be removed by a Vermont-certified asbestos abatement contractor before the renovation.
  • The abatement contractor will need to notify the Health Department and the EPA before the project to get a permit from the Health Department.

If the inspector does not find ACM in the building, you can proceed with the project.

Some ACM can be removed by someone without an asbestos contractor license because they pose less of a health risk—unless they are chipped, ground, sanded, sawed, drilled, abraded, etc. However, the ACM must be removed before the renovation and safe work practices must be followed (see Section 6). Please call the Health Department for more information at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov.

LEAD

For Homeowners

You should assume lead-based paint is present in all homes built before 1978. Homeowners are not required to be certified to do renovation and repair work in their own home, but you are encouraged to use lead-safe work practices.

Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create lead hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Under Vermont law, if lead hazards are created in any building or structure, you will be responsible for the cleanup that will require you to hire a Vermont-licensed lead abatement contractor.

You should consider hiring an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm to do renovation or repair work in areas where there is lead-based paint. These trained contractors use special methods to minimize dust and to clean up thoroughly.

For Owners of Public, Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Building owners should consider hiring an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm to do renovation or repair work in areas where there is lead-based paint. These trained contractors use special methods to minimize dust and to clean up thoroughly.

Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create lead hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Under Vermont law, if lead hazards are created in any building or structure, you will be responsible for the cleanup that will require you to hire a Vermont-licensed lead abatement contractor.

What do I need to know before beginning a demolition?

ASBESTOS

All asbestos-containing material (ACM) must be removed and disposed of before demolishing any building.

For Homeowners

Homeowners must:

  1. Hire a licensed asbestos contractor to inspect for the presence of ACM, in most cases. Find a licensed asbestos contractor
  2. Complete EPA’s Notification of Demolition and Renovation Form and send it to the Health Department at least 10 working days before removing any ACM and before the scheduled demolition, regardless of the presence of ACM. See the Asbestos Demolition/Renovation Notification Form Instructions for help.

Fact sheets for homeowners:

For Owners of Rental, Public or Commercial Buildings

  1. Before demolishing a building, an inspection is required and must be conducted by a Vermont-certified asbestos inspector.
  2. Follow all asbestos-related requirements.

If the inspector finds ACM in the building:

  • The ACM must be removed by a Vermont-certified asbestos abatement contractor before the demolition.
  • The abatement contractor will need to notify the Health Department and the EPA before the project to get a permit from the Health Department.

If the inspector does not find ACM in the building, notify the EPA and the Health Department 10 working days before the scheduled demolition.

Some ACM can be removed by someone without an asbestos contractor license because they pose less of a health risk—unless they are chipped, ground, sanded, sawed, drilled, abraded, etc. However, they must be removed before the demolition and safe work practices must be followed (see Section 6). Please call the Health Department for more information at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov.

What do I need to know about Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs)?

ASBESTOS

EMPs do not apply to asbestos.

LEAD

FOR RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS ONLY

The Vermont Lead Law requires owners of child care facilities built before 1978 to do EMPs (see V.S.A. Title 18, Chapter 38, §1751 (link is external)) to help prevent lead poisoning in children. EMPs are relatively inexpensive maintenance activities, which include inspecting the property for chipping and peeling paint.

All maintenance and renovation of rental properties and child care facilities built before 1978 must comply with the Vermont Lead Law. EMPs must be performed by an EMP-certified person.

You must attend a Health Department approved EMP class to become certified. It is recommended that all child care owners or managers become EMP certified. Classes are generally available at no cost at various locations throughout Vermont on a continual basis. Find an EMP training class

If you are not EMP-certified, consider hiring a contractor who is both EMP and RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) certified or an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Search for a contractor or Lead-Safe Firm on the EPA website (link is external)and confirm that they are EMP-certified. Call contractors directly for details about services and rates. If you have questions, call the Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov.

Make sure lead-safe work practices are followed. Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create lead hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Under Vermont law, if lead hazards are created in any building or structure, you will be responsible for the cleanup that will require you to hire a Vermont-licensed lead abatement contractor.

Disclosure of Lead Hazards to Tenants

Landlords are required to tell tenants about any known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards. This includes:

  • A copy of the Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home booklet and a copy of the rental unit’s most recent EMP Compliance Statement before the lease starts.
  • A copy of every following EMP Compliance Statement.
  • A notice to occupants to report deteriorated paint to the owner or property manager, which must be prominently posted.

EMP Compliance Statement

Vermont law requires owners who rent housing or buildings built before 1978 to complete a Compliance Statement after doing EMPs. File your EMP Compliance Statement online

Contact the Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free in VT) or email AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov if you have questions about EMPs or filing Compliance Statements.

EMP Documents

Where can I find class schedules, posters and fact sheets?

ASBESTOS

Fact Sheets

LEAD

Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) Training Classes

Fact Sheets and Posters

Do I need to remove asbestos or lead from my home or building?

ASBESTOS

Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are only dangerous when they are disturbed or handled incorrectly. Asbestos is not required by law to be removed from a home or building unless a demolition or renovation is to occur or if the ACMs are damaged.

LEAD

Lead is not required by law to be removed from a home or building unless due to a court order or similar legal action.

What are safe work practices for asbestos and lead?

ASBESTOS

For Homeowners

If you want to remove asbestos-containing materials in your own private residence, you must follow the Vermont law regarding the handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials. Note that there are some exemptions for homeowners.

If you hire a contractor, then they are required to be a Vermont-licensed asbestos contractor and follow all state regulations.

You can collect asbestos samples in your own private residence. Samples must be collected according to the regulations and sent to a Health Department licensed lab (Analytical Contractor Entity) for analysis. Under State regulations, you may be exempt from some notification requirements.

For Owners of Rental, Public or Commercial Buildings

Under Vermont law, only licensed contractors are allowed to perform asbestos abatement activities and must follow the regulations regarding the handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials and apply for a permit or notify the Health Department.

LEAD

For Homeowners

There are no requirements for you to do work on your own home, but you are encouraged to follow the same lead-safe work practices contractors are required to do. Lead-safe work practices help protect your family from lead poisoning, especially young children and pregnant women.

Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create lead hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Under Vermont law, if lead hazards are created in any building or structure, you will be responsible for the cleanup that will require you to hire a Vermont-licensed lead abatement contractor.

Here are some helpful resources:

For Owners of Rental, Public or Commercial Buildings

Under Vermont law, contractors are required to use lead-safe work practices.

Where can I find contractors that handle asbestos or lead?
How can I test for asbestos or lead hazards?

ASBESTOS

If you want to know whether there are asbestos-containing materials in a home, building, structure or material, hire a Vermont-licensed asbestos inspector to conduct an inspection.

LEAD

Lead-Based Paint

If you want to know whether lead-based paint is on a home, building or other structure, hire a Vermont-certified lead inspector or risk assessor to conduct a lead inspection or risk assessment. A lead inspection determines the presence or absence of lead-based paint on painted or coated surfaces. A risk assessment identifies lead hazards from deteriorated paint, dust and bare soil, and ways to control the lead hazards.

Drinking Water

Test kits for lead in drinking water can be purchased from the Health Department Laboratory. Find out more about testing for lead in drinking water

How can I report an asbestos-related or lead-related complaint?
Where can I learn more about lead hazards and preventing lead poisoning?
Is there any financial assistance to help me pay for a lead-related project?

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board’s Lead-Based Paint Program provides financial and technical assistance to income-eligible landlords and homeowners to reduce the risk of lead poisoning caused by lead-based paint hazards. Call 802-828-5064 or 800-290-0527 or email leaduser@vhcb.org.

If your property is in Burlington or Winooski, the Burlington Lead Program of the City of Burlington provides similar assistance. Call 802-865-LEAD (5323).

More information

Vermont Regulations for Asbestos Control
Vermont Regulations for Lead Control

Questions?

Asbestos & Lead Regulatory Program
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: 802-863-7220 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free within VT)
Fax: 802-863-7483

AHS.VDHALRPGeneral@vermont.gov