Requirements for Fire and Institutional Training Exercises Involving Structures

Air Pollution Control Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

Disclaimer: The statements in this document are intended solely as guidance. This document is not intended, nor can it be relied on, to create any rights enforceable by any party in litigation. This guidance may be revised without public notice to reflect changes in law, regulation or policy.


This fact sheet addresses the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ regulatory requirements for training exercises to be conducted primarily by fire service, first responder or law enforcement agencies for donated or acquired structures. The department recognizes these exercises, when conducted in a planned manner, provide an invaluable training tool for volunteer or professional personnel. This fact sheet addresses only those requirements that are the regulatory responsibility of the department.

Two department programs administer and enforce statutes and regulations that affect fire training exercises. These are the Air Pollution Control Program and the Solid Waste Management Program. Other agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fire Protection Association, and local agencies may also have requirements or guidelines related to training activities.

Air Pollution Control Program Requirements
Fires set for the purpose of training and instructing fire protection personnel in the methods of fighting fires are presently exempt from Missouri’s open burning regulations. This exemption does not apply if the exercise does not conform to the limitations described in the regulation, causes or constitutes a hazard to vehicular or air traffic, or causes a violation of any other state regulation. This exemption is expressly intended for fire training exercises only and does not authorize the intentional burning of a structure as a method of demolition or disposal. The burning of demolition debris from a previously demolished structure will not be considered exempt. Also, fire training will not be approved for structurally unsound structures if asbestos containing and petroleum-based materials cannot be safely identified and removed. A liability waiver from the owner of the property used in the exercise does not relieve the property owner or training entity from responsibility under applicable statutes and regulations.

In addition to the open burning regulations, training exercises involving buildings or structures are also regulated under the National Emission Standard for Asbestos, located at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M. This federal regulation, enforced by the department, sets forth requirements for asbestos inspection, asbestos removal and notification.

Identifying Asbestos Containing Materials
Prior to using a structure for training exercises where building materials will be impacted, the structure must be thoroughly inspected to determine if any asbestos containing materials are present. In the event a building is structurally unsound and cannot be thoroughly inspected, the structure may not be used for training exercises.

The inspection of the structure must be performed by a Missouri-certified asbestos inspector. The inspector must identify all potential asbestos containing, or suspect, materials present in or on the structure. Samples of all suspect materials must be collected and submitted for laboratory analysis to determine if they contain asbestos. The asbestos inspector can assume materials are asbestos containing and avoid additional laboratory analysis. However, an inspector cannot assume a suspect material is non-asbestos containing. The inspector must generate a report of findings from the inspection. The report should identify all suspect materials present and indicate the amount, location, category and condition of each. The report must also include a copy of the analytical results and chain of custody for all samples collected.

A list of Missouri certified asbestos inspectors is available on the department’s website at

Asbestos Removal
If the asbestos inspection identifies the presence of 160 square feet, 260 linear feet, 35 cubic feet (threshold quantities) or more of asbestos containing material, then all of the asbestos containing material present that will be impacted by the training activity must be removed prior to the exercise. Asbestos present in quantities less than the threshold amount do not have to be removed under the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants requirements. However, the department strongly recommends that all asbestos be removed prior to the intentional burning of a structure. If the materials to be removed are identified by the inspector as being friable asbestos containing material or nonfriable asbestos containing materials in poor condition, then a Missouri registered asbestos abatement contractor must remove the materials. Abatement contractors are trained in the proper procedures for safely removing and disposing of asbestos containing material. Abatement contractors are required to employ only individuals who are trained and certified by the department to remove regulated asbestos containing materials on regulated projects.

Burning or damaging nonfriable asbestos containing materials will result in them being considered to be regulated asbestos containing material, or RACM, similar to friable material. In general, any activity that results in a nonfriable material being cut, sanded, crushed, pulverized, burned, sawn or worn down will cause it to be considered to be RACM. If the overall project involves more than a threshold amount of non-friable material, burning or damaging the nonfriable material will subject it to regulation. However, if removed in a manner that does not render the material into a regulated condition prior to the fire training exercise, the removal of the nonfriable asbestos containing materials can be performed as an unregulated abatement project.

Although unregulated by the department, requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and the EPA Worker Protection Rule may still apply for work involving nonfriable materials. The department recommends the use of trained individuals to remove any asbestos containing materials in compliance with all applicable OSHA and EPA
protective standards.

A list of Missouri registered asbestos abatement contractors is available on the department’s website at

Petroleum Product Removal
All petroleum-based products must be removed from a structure prior to the start of any fire training exercise. Petroleum-based products release hazardous air pollutants into the environment when burned. Petroleum-based products include, but are not limited to, asphalt roofing shingles, vinyl siding, vinyl tile, linoleum, carpeting and ceiling tiles. If these materials do not contain asbestos, no special handling requirements are required for the removal of these materials. However, all demolition waste must be properly disposed of at a permitted landfill or transfer facility.

Notification Requirements
There are two types of notifications that may be required by the department in regard to training exercises that involve donated or acquired structures. Asbestos abatement project notification must be submitted to the department at least 10 working days prior to the start of a regulated asbestos abatement project. A copy of the asbestos inspection report and laboratory analytical results must accompany the notification. The notification period allows the department time to inspect the project and ensure it is being performed in compliance with all of the applicable requirements. This notification is required if the structure contains more than a threshold amount of regulated asbestos containing materials that will be impacted by the training exercise.

The second type of notification, demolition notification, must be provided to the department at least 10 working days prior to the start of the training exercise. This notice is required for all training exercises that will result in the removal of load bearing members from the structure by burning or other means, even if there is no asbestos present. The notification period provides the department the opportunity to inspect the structure prior to demolition to ensure all asbestos issues have been properly addressed. A copy of the asbestos inspection report and laboratory analytical results must accompany this notification. It is the responsibility of the owner, the training entity, and any contractors involved to ensure these notices are provided to the department. Failure to submit the notification is a violation of the Missouri Air Conservation Law and regulations.

The department may issue a Notice of Receipt letter for asbestos abatement notifications demolition notifications. Owners and operators performing these types of projects should not proceed with the project without first verifying their notification has been received by the department. Receipt may be verified by checking the list of notifications on the department’s asbestos website or waiting for receipt of the notice of receeipt.

Solid Waste Management Program Requirements
The Solid Waste Management regulations require that demolition waste, including ash, be properly disposed of at a permitted solid waste facility. Only clean fill may remain on-site or be disposed of in a location other than a permitted solid waste facility. Clean fill is defined as uncontaminated soil, rock, sand, gravel, concrete, asphaltic concrete, cinder block and brick. Materials may contain only minimal amounts of wood or metal or other inert solids as approved by the department to qualify as clean fill.

The department’s Wellhead Protection Section requires any wells that will be or are permanently abandoned on a site be properly plugged. Plugging abandoned wells is the responsibility of the landowner. State regulations allow landowners to plug their own wells, but they must do so according to the rules for properly plugging abandoned wells. The pamphlet, Plugging Your Abandoned Well is available at Visit for additional information or contact Wellhead Protection staff by calling 573-368-2165.

Contact Information
For more information on the department’s asbestos requirements, you may contact the department’s Air Pollution Control Program or one of the department’s other offices:

Local Agencies
In Missouri, there are two local agencies that have an agreement with the department to enforce Missouri’s asbestos requirements as well as local ordinances. These local agencies are:

Jurisdiction Agency Telephone
Kansas City Kansas City Health Department
Air Quality Program
St. Louis County St. Louis County Health Department 314-615-8924

Two additional local agencies do not enforce Missouri’s asbestos requirements but may have local ordinances concerning asbestos which they enforce:

Jurisdiction Agency Telephone
St. Louis (city) St. Louis Division of Air Pollution Control
Air Quality Program
Springfield Springfield-Greene County Health Department of Environmental Services 417-864-1412

Prior to performing a project in one of these jurisdictions, you should contact the appropriate agency to determine if any additional requirements apply.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Air Pollution Control Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-2706 fax

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Solid Waste Management Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-526-3902 fax

Other Department Offices
Regional Offices

Kansas City Regional Office
500 NE Colbern Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64086-4710
816-622-7044 fax

Northeast Regional Office
1709 Prospect Dr.
Macon, MO 63552-2602
660-385-8090 fax

St. Louis Regional Office
7545 S. Lindbergh, Suite 210
St. Louis, MO 63125
314-416-2970 fax

Southeast Regional Office
2155 N. Westwood Blvd.
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
573-840-9754 fax

Southwest Regional Office
2040 W. Woodland
Springfield, MO 65807-5912
417-891-4399 fax

Additional Asbestos Related Guidance Documents
For more specific information about the department’s requirements in regard to asbestos, reference the additional guidance documents listed below or contact the department or appropriate local agency at the contact information found in this fact sheet.

These documents are available for free download from the department’s website at