Governor Fallin signs measure updating asbestos abatement provisions, agencies reach accord

Oklahoma City – Governor Mary Fallin on Monday (April 20) signed legislation that advocates say will reduce the regulatory burden faced by developers and contractors concerning asbestos material.

Senate Bill 658 eliminates outdated language related to asbestos abatement in private and public facilities and clarifies that the Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) is the primary authority for asbestos abatement on the job site.

In addition to the legislation, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Labor signed a cooperative agreement to clarify jurisdictional authorities related to all phases of the cleanup of asbestos material.

“Throughout Oklahoma, communities have worked hard to restore historic buildings and structures that have fallen into disrepair,” said Fallin.

“Often these facilities contain asbestos that must be removed to protect public health. This legislation, along with the cooperative agreement between the DEQ and DOL, will reduce the regulatory burden on contractors and prevent them from being subjected to multiple inspections by multiple agencies.

“My thanks go out to the Legislature for sending me this bill as well as both Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague and Labor Commissioner Mark Costello for successfully negotiating the agreement between their two agencies,” Fallin added.

S.B. 658 was authored by Sen. Ron Justice, R- and Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, and will take effect immediately.