Oregon relaxes some asbestos rules to speed wildfire cleanup

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials are relaxing some requirements for handling ash and debris containing asbestos to speed work in removing debris from homes and buildings destroyed by wildfires. The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission on Friday also authorized the temporary stockpiling of asbestos-containing debris before being taken to landfills. Asbestos can cause deadly mesothelioma cancer and other illnesses. The rule changes apply to those who decide to hire licensed asbestos abatement contractors. The changes include suspension of fees and notification requirements, except for commercial and larger residential properties. Open accumulation of asbestos debris is allowed, as is the use of mechanical equipment.