Demolition and Your Environment
For demolition, deconstruction and alterations that include partial demolitions, there are health-related requirements administered by a number of agencies. This webpage identifies those agencies, their area of responsibility and their contact information. The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) approves the demolition of structures, but defers to these other agencies for enforcing most health-related requirements.
Print out the Demolition and Renovation - Next Steps handout.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulates asbestos involving demolitions and requires that abatement projects prior to demos be performed in a controlled area, clearly marked by barriers and asbestos warning signs including a requirement to restrict access to authorized personnel only. We also have a standard that requires "fugitive dust" be minimized on construction sites by applying reasonable precautions (e.g. watering) to control dust emissions. These are performance based standards to protect public health, the environment and address nuisance issues.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.
King County Public Health
King County Public Health promotes, educates, and advocates for increasing public awareness of the health risks associated with the demolition of buildings, such as lead and other environmental hazards.
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
The Department of Labor and Industries Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) enforces workplace safety & health regulations in Washington, under an agreement with Federal OSHA. Consultation assistance is also available on employer request. Contractors must follow safe demolition practices prescribed by WAC 296-155 part S including a written engineering survey prior to demolition of structures to determine structural integrity and the possibility of unplanned collapse of any portion of the structure. DOSH standards also require employers to determine the presence of, and remove prior to demolition, asbestos, hazardous materials, hazardous chemicals, gases, explosives, flammable materials, or similarly dangerous substances. Removal of such substances shall be in accordance with the requirements of WAC 296-155, 296-62 and Asbestos 296-65.
Department of Planning and Development (DPD)
DPD approves permits for demolitions, deconstruction, and alterations that include partial demolitions. DPD requires that demolition sites are properly secured from public access when there are related hazards such as excavation or unstable structures.