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Asbestos Removal and Notification

Asbestos fibers are a known human carcinogen. Lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the chest cavity lining) and asbestosis (a fibrotic scarring of lung tissue) have been proven to result from asbestos exposure.

The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970 requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be human health hazards. The EPA has since delegated the authority to implement and enforce the federal hazardous air pollutant rule on asbestos to the DNR.

The DNR implemented its asbestos program to reduce the public's possible asbestos exposure. These regulations require facility owners and/or operators involved in demolition and renovation activities to inspect the affected facility before attempting to remove any asbestos, file proper notification and handle and dispose of asbestos properly. Staff offer education and assistance with asbestos issues so that owners and/or operators can comply with rule requirements.

Recent changes made to the Asbestos Renovation and Demolition Notification System (ARDN)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently rolled out a new feature related to document uploads within the ARDN system. A drop-down menu is now provided for consistency in naming documents for uploading to ARDN. This new feature allows all submitted documentation to be associated with the correct notice.

In addition, all uploaded documents are now available to the public through the Asbestos Notification Search.

Instructions for the document upload process are available in DNR’s Asbestos Notification and Demolition Notification Instructions document (AM-577).


Four steps to a successful demolition or renovation project

1. Inspection

Department regulations require the owner or operator of a facility to "thoroughly inspect the affected facility or part of the facility where the demolition or renovation operation will occur for the presence of asbestos..."

2. Notification

A. Notification for demolitions/asbestos abatement projects

A demolition project that contains any amount of asbestos containing materials, no matter how small, is subject to the regulations in ch. NR 447, Wis. Adm. Code.

The facility must be subject to the federal asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations. A single, isolated, residential dwelling unit or structure with four or fewer dwelling units is typically exempt, although all fire training burns [PDF] are still subject facilities. Additionally, this exemption does not apply to residential structures and apartments with four or fewer dwelling units if the demolition is part of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) road project, commercial or industrial development or urban renewal project. Individual demolitions planned at the same time or as part of the same planning schedule are considered part of the larger project.

Some examples of subject facilities include, but are not limited to: bridges, tunnels, docked ships, military installations (including dependent housing), indoor malls, churches, amusement parks, parking garages, nursing homes, jails, prisons, apartment buildings with five or more dwelling units and homes/outbuildings that are part of a commercial or developmental project.

B. Notification for renovations/asbestos abatement projects

In order for a renovation/asbestos abatement project to be subject to DNR asbestos regulations in ch. NR 447, Wis. Adm. Code, the following criteria must apply.

  • The quantity of regulated asbestos containing materials to be removed must be at least:
    • 260 lineal feet of pipe insulation;
    • 160 square feet, or 5,580 square feet of total area, of asphalt roofing removed with a roofing saw; or
    • 35 cubic feet off of facility components (this measurement should only be used if there is no way to determine the amount as it existed on a facility component - pipe, ceiling, floor, etc.)
    These quantities are or will be listed in box #16a. of the notice form. For quantities listed in box #16b., the contractor has determined that the material is and will remain non-friable during the entire abatement project, including waste handling and disposal.

Definition of regulated asbestos containing material or RACM

  1. Friable asbestos material
  2. Category I non-friable asbestos-containing material (ACM) that has become friable
  3. Category I non-friable ACM that will be or has been subject to sanding, grinding, cutting or abrading
  4. Category II non-friable ACM that has a high probability of becoming or has become crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by the forces expected to act on the material in the course of demolition or renovation operations regulated by ch. NR 447, Wis. Adm. Code.

The facility must be subject to state regulations. The Air Management Program regulates renovations involving asbestos abatement of all subject facilities or structures. Residential structures, garages and apartments with four or fewer dwelling units are included if the demolition is part of a large project, such as a Department of Transportation road project, or a commercial, industrial or urban renewal project. Individual demolitions planned at the same time or as part of the same planning schedule are considered part of a larger project. A single (one structure only), isolated (not part of a larger project) residential dwelling unit or structure is exempt from the notification requirements, regardless of ownership or intended use of the property. Some examples of subject facilities include, but are not limited to: bridges, tunnels, docked ships, military installations (including dependent housing), indoor malls, churches, amusement parks, parking garages, nursing homes, jails, prisons, apartment buildings with five or more dwelling units and homes/outbuildings that are part of a commercial or developmental project.

3. Removal

Control of asbestos emissions

To ensure compliance with NR 447 the following work practices are required when performing asbestos abatement.

  • Contractors should adequately wet the ACM to prevent visible emissions (VEs). The absence of VEs is not sufficient evidence that the ACM is adequately wet.
  • Wetting that would unavoidably damage equipment is not required if the owner/operator supplies the department sufficient information explaining the situation. When the department determines that such damage is unavoidable, the contractor shall use a local exhaust ventilation and collection system designed and operated to capture the particulates produced by the stripping and removal of the friable ACM. The system shall exhibit no VEs to the outside air. The contractor must receive written approval from DNR before starting the project.
  • All ACM must remain adequately wet when collected, contained, treated for disposal and transported.
  • All ACM must be sealed in leak-tight containers. For materials that will not fit without additional breakage, leak-tight wrapping may be used.
  • All asbestos-containing waste material shall be deposited as soon as practical at an approved waste disposal site licensed by the DNR under section NR 506.10, Wis. Adm. Code, Out-of-state disposal sites shall be operated in conformance with 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M, section 61.152.

4. Disposal

All waste materials that contain at least 1% asbestos are subject to the storage, transport and disposal requirements in chs. NR 502, Wis. Adm. Code and NR 506, Wis. Adm. Code, regardless of both the structural source of the asbestos and the quantity of asbestos involved.

Online Notification and Fees

Online notification and fees

A Notification for Demolition and/or Renovation (Form 4500-113), can be submitted using the online Asbestos Renovation and Demolition Notification System (ARDN). To access the system, you must register on the DNR Switchboard. To submit a notification, log into the switchboard and choose "Asbestos Notification" and click on "New Notification." Do not bookmark the ARDN System. Always access the system via Switchboard.

Helpful registration hints

  • Each person at the company who will be using the system must create a password and register to use the system.
  • The password must be activated and a copy of your signature page submitted to DNR. Once the password is activated, it will take a day or two to be added to the system as a user.
  • The facility name and address is your company's name and address.
  • When asked for the facility ID number, use the company's zip code.
  • If there are multiple people at your company registered to use the system, contact to have all the users attached to the company mailbox. This allows all company users to view all notices in the company mailbox.

As a backup for the online system, there is an Adobe PDF version of the notification form.

Notice: To ensure proper functionality, always download Air Management Program PDF forms to the computer before opening and entering information. To download, right click on the document link, choose "Save link as", and save the file to a location on the computer. Open the downloaded file using Adobe Reader. For more information, visit the PDF help page.


The Asbestos Program's fee structure includes fees for both a permit exemption review and for compliance inspections. They apply to demolition projects where a notice is required to be filed. The facility type must also be subject to the regulations. The fees must be included with the notification and are not refundable.

Single-family houses which are not part of a commercial or other developmental project and are being used for fire practice burns are not subject to these fees.

  • $135 - Demolition with less than 160 square feet/260 lineal feet of regulated asbestos containing material, or RACM.
  • $400 - Demolition or renovations with greater than 160 square feet/260 lineal feet of RACM, but less than 1,000 feet combined.
  • $700 - Demolitions or renovations with at least 1,000 total feet but less than 5,000 total feet of RACM.
  • $1,350 - Demolitions or renovations with at least 5,000 total feet of RACM.
  • $100 - Fire training on residential structures.
  • $100 - Revised projects where the friable asbestos/RACM increases by 20 percent during the course of the project, but does not reach the next fee category.

Ten working days notice is required for all normal demolition projects. An ordered demolition can proceed if the notice is filed no later than 24 hours after the project is started. The notice must include a copy of the order that the structure is unsound and in danger of imminent collapse. An ordered demolition precludes the removal of asbestos-containing materials prior to the demolition.

Notification is required for all demolition projects of subject facilities even if there is no asbestos present; this is called a negative declaration.

For fire training burns all asbestos containing material, both friable and non-friable, must be removed prior to commencement of the practice burn.

Asbestos Notification Search

Asbestos Notification Search

The Asbestos Notification Search Tool allows users to find information on individual air asbestos notifications as well as view or download copies of notification summary and notification summary revisions. The search tool is flexible and allows broad or specific searches. However, the broader the search, the more records will be returned, which may cause longer computer response times.

The database is updated automatically as notices are submitted electronically. For the occasional notifications submitted via postal service, the information is uploaded manually to the database as soon as reasonably possible. Only notification documents are displayed. For other associated records for a specific notification, please complete a Public Records Request.

The Department retains asbestos records for 7 years.

Click the button above to access the search tool.


State of Wisconsin contacts

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
  • Home improvement complaints about asbestos contractors:
    Consumer Protection Regional Office
    PO Box 8911
    Madison WI 53708-8911
    Statewide (toll-free): 800-422-7128
    Madison: 608-224-4960
Department of Health Services (DHS)
  • DHS Asbestos Program
  • Asbestos training & certification program: 608-261-6876
  • Medical issues: Dr. Henry Anderson, 608-266-1253
Department of Administration (DOA)
State Laboratory of Hygiene - Wis. Occupational Health Lab
Wisconsin OSHA consultation program

Free technical assistance to private sector companies on asbestos safety and health issues is available through the State Laboratory of Hygiene WisCon (Onsite Safety & Health Consultation) Program [exit DNR].

Federal government contacts

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Asbestos
  • Worker safety for private sector employees:
    • Chicago Regional Office: 312-353-2220
    • Appleton District Office: 920-734-4521
    • Eau Claire District Office: 715-832-9019
    • Madison District Office: 608-441-5388
    • Milwaukee District Office: 414-297-3315


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