Portable Building Movement Considered to Be Demolition by SJVAPCD

Attached to this Notice are two letters from SJVAPCD and one letter from HMS, Inc. to APCD. All of these letters concern the movement of portables buildings from one site to another, or from one location at a site to another location at the same site.

The letter from HMS, Inc. discusses the current interpretation of SJVAPCD that the movement of a portable building is considered to be a demolition. This interpretation triggers some significant regulatory compliance. First, per the NESHAP Regulations, no matter the date of manufacture/construction or installation of a portable (or any other building or building material), renovation/demolition activities must be preceded by an asbestos inspection. And, second, demolition of a structure (other than, basically, a residence that will remain a residence) requires a ten working day delay prior to the start of demolition activities whether asbestos is found or not.

HMS, Inc. has been verbally informed several times recently that the current interpretation by SJVAPCD is that moving a portable building is a demolition project – requiring an asbestos inspection and a ten-day notification prior to any demolition activities, whether or not the building contains any asbestos and no matter when the building was manufactured and installed. However, Catherine Jones of SISC supplied HMS, Inc. with a letter from SJVAPCD, dated December 8, 2000, that would seem to indicate that the movement of most portable buildings would not be considered a demolition project. This would mean that no demolition fee nor notification (and associated ten working day delay between the notification date and the start of the project and fees) would be required – unless asbestos was found during the inspection.

Because of this apparent conflict in interpretation by various offices of SJVAPCD, HMS, Inc. requested a current interpretation. We forwarded the December 8, 2000 letter to SJVAPCD and requested a clarification between it and what HMS, Inc. had been verbally informed concerning the movement of portable (see attached letter to Ron Giannone of SJVAPCD).

As you can see from Mr. Giannone’s response (see letter from SJVAPCD to HMS, Inc. dated June 7, 2004) that unless a building is manufactured with axles (and apparently left on those axles while in use) it will fall under the EPA’s NESHAP Regulation as a demolition each time it is moved.

The letter of interpretation from Mr. Giannone does however exempt home/office trailers and travel trailers. This offers relief from having to notify each time a construction management trailer, hearing testing trailer, or other oft moved trailers (which are not removed from their axles while in use at a site) is moved.

For HMS, Inc. clients that are in jurisdictions other than that of SJVAPCD, it would be prudent to request an interpretation from your local Air District.

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