France Environmental, Inc. Offers Comprehensive Asbestos Survey and Abatement Design Services

The National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) was established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. One of the first hazardous air pollutants regulated by NESHAP was asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in a wide variety of products and materials currently being used throughout society. Unfortunately, it has been determined that exposure to asbestos can cause diseases such as Asbestosis, and certain forms of cancer, including Mesothelioma.

France Environmental, Inc. is one of the leading asbestos consulting and testing firms in Virginia. As a certified small minority business, we perform the small projects, from collecting bulk samples for a residential customer; to the largest of projects for our commercial, government and industrial clients.

Asbestos Survey/Inspection and Analysis

Under the NESHAP regulations, building owners are required to have their buildings inspected for asbestos prior to any renovation or demolition activities regardless of when the building was constructed. The majority of the public is unaware that there are several asbestos-containing products still manufactured and used in U.S. building materials to this day. Other reasons for conducting asbestos surveys may be to comply with insurance and/or lender requirements as part of a real estate transaction or just peace of mind to protect building occupants. FEI routinely conducts comprehensive asbestos surveys to determine the presence of exposed and/or accessible asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM’s).

Prior to obtaining a Commonwealth of Virginia-issued Inspector License, our inspectors are required to attend a rigorous training program that includes a combination of EPA certified classroom training and field experience. In addition, they are required to attend an annual refresher training course in order to stay current with the most recent state and federal regulations.

When conducting an asbestos survey, the inspector will perform a visual survey to identify the presence, location and quantities of building materials suspected of containing asbestos. Bulk samples are then collected from each material and submitted to a certified laboratory for analysis by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Once the results are received, the Asbestos Inspector assembles a report of the findings. Before the report is submitted to the client, it is reviewed for quality control by one of our senior quality control managers.

Asbestos Abatement Design Services

If asbestos is identified in a building, the next step is to develop a plan to remove the asbestos and/or manage it in place. FEI’s Engineering Department includes asbestos abatement designers licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia who can develop abatement specifications for the removal of asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM’s). The Abatement Design can be a “stand alone” document or as part of the overall renovation/demolition plans that would be inserted into the Project Manual.

Asbestos abatement design documents are required by the EPA when doing work in any school building under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) guidelines. In addition, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires an Asbestos Abatement Design prior to any asbestos removal projects performed in state-owned buildings or universities.

Asbestos Management Plans

If it is determined that previously identified asbestos-containing materials (ACM’s) can’t be removed, then the asbestos should be managed in place. FEI can develop a plan for managing asbestos-containing materials until they can be removed. These management plans are required for schools and day care facilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under the AHERA guidelines for public and private schools, three year re-inspections are required to be performed by an EPA accredited Asbestos Inspector. FEI routinely develops and updates asbestos management plans.

Asbestos Project Monitoring

FEI offers Asbestos Project Monitoring services during asbestos abatement (removal) activities to protect building occupants, the environment, and the owner’s liability. When the abatement work begins, FEI may conduct third party project-monitoring services on behalf of our clients. A Virginia licensed Project Monitor collects environmental and work area air samples for asbestos fibers to ensure the integrity of the containment as well as the proper performance of the contractor’s work practice. The Project Monitor’s daily activities may include the calibration of sampling equipment, completion of daily progress reports, air sampling, monitoring, reporting of the abatement contractor’s work practices and most importantly, ensuring that the abatement contractor is abiding by all Federal, State and local regulations. After the asbestos has been removed, the Project Monitor performs a visual inspection of the containment and clearance air sampling for re-occupancy.

France Environmental, Inc. is a licensed laboratory and our project monitors are trained and certified to analyze daily/clearance air samples. FEI can set up a mobile laboratory to analyze air samples utilizing Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) in accordance with the NIOSH 7400 Method. By having the ability to analyze the samples onsite, the client and contractors do not have to wait for the results to be analyzed at an off site third party laboratory. This helps to eliminate down time on a project waiting for results as well as giving FEI the ability to identify hazardous situations quicker, such as a breach in containment.

Asbestos Training

France Environmental, Inc. can coordinate all of your asbestos training needs. FEI performs generic Asbestos Awareness Training or specific training tailored to the needs of an individual facility for people such as building managers, maintenance staff, custodians, employees, etc. In addition, FEI can coordinate other types of onsite asbestos training of initial and refresher training courses.