Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Regulated Materials

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Buried Asbestos-Containing Waste Material (Asbestos Dumps)

Contaminated Materials
Carolyn Boben: 651-366-3621
Michelle Waters: 651-366-3627
Sarah Jarman: 651-366-3609

MnDOT has prepared this guidance document to provide its internal procedures and requirements for work performed on MnDOT Rights of Way, including MnDOT-owned facilities. This document should not be construed as a full description of all regulations pertaining to the subject matter. Contact the Regulated Materials Unit (RMU) in the MnDOT Office of Environmental Stewardship for additional information or legal requirements.

Management of Buried Asbestos-Containing Material

This document describes how MnDOT manages buried asbestos-containing waste material (ACWM). ACWM is not asbestos-containing material found in an intact underground utility or associated with a building demolition project. For instance, a building with asbestos-containing Transite siding may have lost portions of siding over many years and as a result, asbestos-containing materials may be present in soils surrounding the building. This type of material is not considered to be ACWM and is subject to other management techniques. Contact OES for assistance in managing asbestos materials associated with buildings, bridges or other types of structures.

ACWM is generally regarded as historical asbestos-containing material (ACM) that is no longer in use and occurs in areas of fill (dumps) and typically found with other waste materials. MnDOT’s approach in managing ACWM is determined primarily by two factors:

  1. the extent and depth of the material; and
  2. if the material is present on MnDOT property or not.

Situation 1 in this document provides guidance for management of ACWM present on MnDOT property and Situation 2 provides guidance for management of ACWM present on non-MnDOT property. Information specific to segregation of waste materials and on buried utilities with ACM is included at the end of the document.

Situation 1: ACWM is located within MnDOT Rights of Way or easement (including highway Rights of Way, MnDOT maintenance facilities, residential and commercial properties acquired by MnDOT and any other property owned by MnDOT).

Complete removal of all ACWM is generally required for:

  • ACWM that is associated with demolition of any structure, including ACM that may have fallen from the structure and accumulated in surrounding soil.
  • Isolated, small volumes of ACWM.
  • ACWM that is within four feet of final grade.

Contact RMU for verification.

Leaving ACWM in-place may be allowed under the following circumstances:

  • ACWM is outside of construction limits.
  • ACWM that is within two to four feet of final grade may remain if it is directly below pavement or a structure.
  • ACWM that extends beyond MnDOT’s property line, regardless of depth of material, unless the ACWM is associated with a structure that MnDOT is in the process of demolishing or relocating.

Additional Requirements

  • Institutional Controls are required to document the location of ACWM left in place. This documentation must be coordinated with District Permitting and Land Management Offices to ensure that MnDOT personnel and private contractors working on future projects in the location of the ACWM are made aware of its existence.
  • A Contingency Plan must be prepared that addresses how ACWM should be managed on future development of the property containing ACWM. This documentation must also be coordinated with District Permitting and Land Management Offices.
  • A deed restriction must be placed on any property containing ACWM prior to conveyance.

Situation 2: ACWM is located outside MnDOT Rights of Way or easement (including highway Rights of Way, MnDOT maintenance facilities, residential and commercial properties acquired by MnDOT and any other property owned by MnDOT).

ACWM outside of MnDOT Rights of Way should be left in place. Report the discovery of ACWM to the State Duty Officer (651-6495451 or 800-422-0798) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Asbestos Program (651-297- 5518). Reporting discovery of the release will ensure that the ACWM is properly documented by the regulatory agency.

The MnDOT Project Engineer may choose to remove the ACWM outside the Rights of Way if the volume is limited and would result in a complete removal.

Additional Requirement

  • ACWM that lies outside MnDOT Rights of Way but is associated with a structure owned by MnDOT that is being demolished or relocated must be completely removed.

Segregation of ACWM during excavation activities

Under some circumstances it may be appropriate to segregate ACWM during excavating operation. The decision to segregate ACWM must be based on the professional judgment of a certified asbestos inspector.

Isolated Areas

A certified asbestos inspector may determine that the presence of ACWM is isolated based on observation of test pits excavated in areas of buried solid waste. In this case, these isolated occurrences of buried solid waste associated with ACWM may be segregated from areas of buried solid waste where ACWM is not present.

Presence of Ash

Ash can be indicative of the presence of asbestos. Therefore, if ash is encountered during excavation, the situation should be reassessed to determine the source of the ash to determine if it is likely to contain asbestos. Confirmation to determine the extent of ACWM in areas of isolated occurrences may be based on visual inspection by a certified asbestos inspector.

Utility with ACM

It is common for a buried utility to be Transite or coated with ACM. Following is guidance on how to manage buried utility lines:

  • If the utility is active: contact the utility owner if any portion of the utility is damaged so that the owner can repair the utility.
  • If the utility is inactive and intact: try to identify the utility owner and make arrangements for the owner to remove the utility. If the utility owner cannot be identified, have an asbestos abatement contractor proceed as follows:
    • Properly remove the utility within the area of excavation.
    • Once the limit of excavation has been reached, assess if it is practical to remove the utility up to the MnDOT property line. If practical, remove the utility up to the property line. If is not practical to remove the utility to the property boundary, leave the utility in-place. The asbestos abatement contractor must document any utility with ACM left in-place, even if it is beyond the MnDOT property boundary.
  • If the utility is inactive but not intact (fragmented pieces): Remove the material in the same manner as any other ACWM discussed in previous sections of this document.