Abstract

The California Air Resources Board Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Construction, Grading, Quarrying, and Surface Mining Operations (ATCM) provides requirements for the evaluation for naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) on a construction site. There are two compliance triggers: (1) a determination that the site is located within a geographic ultramafic rock unit, defined as a geographic area designated as an ultramafic rock on referenced maps, and (2) the presence of NOA, serpentinite, or ultramafic rock. The California Geological Survey requires that NOA evaluations be conducted by a licensed professional geologist. However, under the ATCM, a professional geologist is required only when a property owner wishes to demonstrate that a geographic ultramafic rock unit is not actually represented by ultramafic rocks. The professional geologist who must advise whether the ATCM applies at a construction site is therefore placed in a precarious position. Does a limited desktop review of geologic maps meet any standard of practice? If the ATCM is triggered by the presence of asbestos, is the geologist negligent if no evaluation is recommended or conducted? Could geologic units be pre-screened for asbestos potential? Using case studies and geologic data in the city of San Francisco and East Bay, this presentation reviews these issues and provides a context for the geologist to conduct the appropriate level of investigation for compliance with the ATCM.

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