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November 24, 1999

Contact: (718-595-3693/3695)

Asbestos Investigator Compliance Guide

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) periodically schedules audits of recordkeeping by certified asbestos investigators. Audit inspections are performed randomly or may be triggered by the Asbestos Assessment Report (ACP5) review process or by enforcement investigations at specific sites. Investigators must make records available during normal business hours without cost or restriction for inspection by a representative of the Department.

Incomplete records, improper or inadequate surveys or assessments, or submittal of false statement or false documentation to the Department will result in the issuance of Notices of Violation. The penalties for violation of Title 15, Chapter 1 of the Rules of the City of New York range from $1,200 to $10,000 per infraction. In addition, the Department may convene a hearing to revoke or suspend certification.

Asbestos survey records must accurately reflect the site conditions at the time of investigation. However Investigators must ensure that there are no underlying suspect materials e.g. Sub-roof, sub-layer of siding, shingles, etc.

Only individuals certified as asbestos investigators by the Department can engage in building survey and hazard assessment for asbestos. Such individuals have satisfactorily demonstrated an ability to identify the presence and evaluate the condition of asbestos in buildings or structures.

A non-certified individual may participate in an asbestos survey being conducted by a NYC certified investigator only if such individual works in the presence of the investigator and under direct and continuing supervision.


Only persons certified by the Department as asbestos investigators or by the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) as asbestos inspectors may select and collect bulk samples for analysis.

The investigator may assume that some or all of the areas investigated contain ACM, and for each area that is not assumed to contain ACM, collect and submit bulk samples for analysis. Collection and submittal of samples must be in compliance with Title 15, Chapter 1 of the Rules of the City of New York §1-36, §1-37, and §1-44, and EPA publications 560/5-85-024, 560/5-85-030A and 40 CFR Part 763.86.

Bulk sample analysis (PLM) must be performed by laboratories within the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) administered by the New York State Department of Health.

Bulk samples must be taken by whatever method necessary to minimize the potential for fiber release. Any material that remains exposed as a result of the sampling procedure must be sealed.

Sampling results/reports must be submitted directly to the Department upon request within five calendar days.

Note: When samples cannot be obtained because surfacing material is not present (e.g. bare boiler, pipe, etc.), photographs should be taken and included in the records.

Recordkeeping Requirements

ACP5 forms are notification forms and are not survey reports. Investigators must maintain adequate backup documentation. A detailed survey report is required for each and every asbestos survey.

Asbestos investigators must maintain a permanent record (survey report) for every building survey/hazard assessment for asbestos.

For each building or structure survey/hazard assessment conducted prior to preparation of either Asbestos Notification Form (ACP7) or ACP5, the investigator must compile a record that includes at a minimum:

  1. A survey report that reflects the condition of the work area at the time of the investigator’s inspection. The report is to include, at a minimum, the building or structure’s address and the name and address of the building owner, as well as the locations, quantities, and condition of all building materials in the affected portion(s) of the building or structure relative to the asbestos containing material (ACM) contained therein; and
  2. A blueprint, diagram, drawing, or written description of each building, structure or portion thereof inspected by the investigator that identifies clearly each location and approximate linear or square footage of any area where material was sampled for ACM, and the exact locations where bulk samples were collected, the date of collection, and location of any areas assumed to have ACM; and
  3. The printed name and signature of any and all persons who collect bulk samples for the purpose of determining the presence of ACM, a copy of the current DEP asbestos handler certificate and NYSDOL asbestos handler certificate of each such person, the name of the firm performing the survey and a copy of its current NYSDOL asbestos handling license, the name and address of the laboratory analyzing the samples, the date of analysis, the results of the analysis, the method of analysis and the name and signature of the person performing the analysis; and
  4. A detailed written description of any proposed demolition, renovation, alteration or modification work to be performed, including the techniques to be used and a description of affected facility components; and
  5. A chain of custody for all bulk samples collected as part of the survey.

All forms must have the seal of the NYC DEP Certified Asbestos Investigator.City Seal


Any plan or report submitted to any client or any city, state, or federal agency must have the investigator’s seal and signature affixed. Photocopies of the seal and signature are not permitted. Any plan or report submitted without the investigator seal and signature is considered invalid.

Seals must be circular in shape, approximately one and three quarter inches in diameter, with three concentric circles. The inner circle must contain an accurate representation of the great seal of the City of New York. The legend at the top of the outer band shall read “City of New York” and the bottom “Certified Asbestos Investigator”. In the inner circle above the great seal of the City of New York shall be shown the name of the certified asbestos investigator.

Certification Renewal

Renewal applications must be submitted five to six weeks prior to the expiration date of the certificate.

If applicable, evidence of payment of fines imposed by the Environmental Control Board (ECB) for violation of Title 15, Chapter 1 of the RCNY must be provided for renewal consideration. Adherence to a payment plan is acceptable.



More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600