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Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals whose crystals form into long, thin fibers. Its unique properties include tensile strength, flexibility, acoustical properties and resistance to fire, thermal, chemical, and electrical conditions. These properties made asbestos a very popular component in building materials in the past, and while certain applications of asbestos use in buildings have been banned, there are still over 3,000 asbestos-containing building materials that are legally available and in use in the United States.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and if inhaled can cause diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. The risk of contracting these diseases increases with the duration of exposure and is influenced by other risk factors such as smoking.

Exposure to asbestos fibers can occur when Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are disturbed during demolition, renovation, maintenance, and repair activities. In an effort to reduce and prevent exposure, the U.S. EPA has created regulations for demolition and renovation projects for which DERM seeks compliance through plan review, document review, field inspections and outreach activities.

For more information, call 305-372-6925 or email at [email protected].

Demolition and renovation requirements

Most demolition and renovation projects for commercial and certain residential facilities require review for asbestos and approval from the Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources.

Examples of residential facilities requiring review by DERM, include:

  • Residential buildings containing 5 or more units
  • Multiple small residential buildings on the same property
  • Residential buildings demolished or renovated as part of a larger project (e.g., demolition to construct a park, hotel; demolition for road expansion purposes…)

An asbestos survey must be completed for all demolition projects, and all renovation projects where more than 160 square feet of suspect Friable Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) and Category I and Category II nonfriable ACM will be disturbed.


  1. Notice of Demolition or Asbestos Renovation form: This form must be completed and submitted to Miami-Dade County DERM at least 10 working days (14 calendar days) prior to the start of a regulated demolition or asbestos renovation project. Please keep in mind that the 10 days will be calculated from the day the form is deemed complete.
  2. Affidavit for asbestos survey: This form can be used to obtain asbestos plan review approval for renovation projects while waiting for an asbestos survey to be conducted. Please be aware that this form does not replace the asbestos survey. The asbestos survey must still be completed, and a copy must be available for DERM staff during the renovation project.


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