Community questions about asbestos in flood damaged properties

This is a resource for communities impacted by floods in Northern NSW in early 2022.

This is a resource for communities impacted by floods in Northern NSW in early 2022.

Please check your council’s website for any local requirements as recovery progresses.

How do I know if my property contains asbestos?

If your property was built before 1990, it is likely to contain asbestos material. See this easy guide for identifying asbestos material at home.

Do I have to remove asbestos if my property was damaged by flooding?

If the asbestos material is intact, it is safest left in place. It will dry and you can treat the area for mould if needed.

If the asbestos material is broken, dislodged or structurally damaged, you may need to remove it from your property.

Can I remove damaged asbestos waste from my property?

This depends on how much asbestos you have to remove.

If you need to remove a small amount – anything less than 10m2 in total – follow this guidance to safely remove and wrap this waste yourself.

If you have over 10m2 of asbestos material to remove from your property, you will need help from a licensed contractor.

I have less than 10m2 to remove and can do this safely myself. What do I do with it when its wrapped?

You can transport it to a licensed landfill for disposal free from the NSW waste levy.

Before doing this, it is worth checking if the landfill can take asbestos waste. Some require 24 hours’ notice and others have reduced services following the floods.

If you can’t dispose of this waste at a licensed landfill, you should store the wrapped package at your property in a safe location outdoors and request assistance from your local council.

Never put asbestos waste on the kerb or in bins.

I have more than 10m2 of asbestos waste at my property resulting from flood damage. What should I do?

You may have a few options in this case.

If your property is insured, you should make a claim for repairs including asbestos waste removal. If your property is not insured, you can find a licensed contractor to safely remove asbestos waste .

If these options are not available to you, you can request help through your local council’s website. Councils are triaging asbestos waste requests to the NSW Government for clean-up.

Remember, if you have asbestos that was wet but remains intact, it is safest left in place.

I have requested help to clean up asbestos waste resulting from flood damage. When will I get a response?

Requests will be actioned as quickly as possible.

When you receive a response will depend on your area’s recovery stage and contractors available.

For your safety, please keep away from any areas on your property containing damaged or dislodged asbestos until you are updated on your request.

My property is uninhabitable after the floods. Can I get help with repairs and demolition?

Yes.

The NSW Government will provide a range of assistance for owners or occupiers of properties damaged by the 2022 floods. See general repair and rebuild advice.

In April 2022, the Department of Regional NSW will open the Property Assessment and Demolition (PAD) Program. The PAD Program will provide free structural assessments of flood impacted properties found to be beyond economic repair and uninhabitable. If assessment deems necessary, demolition and removal of waste will be undertaken at no cost to property owners.

The program will be open to owners of properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes.

Register for notifications about the PAD Program.

What is the EPA’s role in managing asbestos waste resulting from the floods?

In NSW, the EPA are the lead environmental regulator and head of the Environmental Services Functional Area under the State’s emergency management arrangements. See emergency management in NSW.

The EPA provide communities with advice on managing asbestos waste during and after disasters. This advice is updated for individual events.

See advice on managing asbestos waste after the 2022 floods.

If you find any asbestos waste illegally dumped in a flood-impacted area, you can report it online or phone 131 555.

What other support can I get?

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