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New Additional Speciality Contractor’s License May Be Required. To Perform Asbestos Abatement or Removal Work Under California Law.

The California Contractors License Board proposed in early 2014 adding a new “C-22" Speciality License classification to its licensing regulations.

Under the new C-22 rules, regardless of the class of license a contractor currently holds, it would also need to acquire an additional C-22 license to do any asbestos abatement or removal work on a project.

This rule would apparently apply even to holders of General Building (“B”) or Engineering (“A”) licenses.

Under current law, holders of a “B” license need not hold other speciality licenses, as long as their work on the project encompasses at least two “trades” (or specialty license work) other than framing or carpentry.

Currently, the only exception to the “two trades” requirement are Fire Protection (“C-16") and Well Drilling (“C-57"), for which a “B” licensee must also hold those additional speciality licenses to perform such work itself on a project.

Without such speciality licenses a general contractor must subcontract that type of work to holders of those Speciality Licenses, or else exclude such work from its contract.

The new “C-22" category appears to create a third exception to the kind of work a “B” Contractor must now subcontract, or hold a Speciality License to perform.

The License Board currently has an “Asbestos Certification” which a contractor can obtain per Bus. & Prof. Code § 7058.5 by taking an examination. The License Board interprets this Certification as allowing a contractor to perform asbestos work only within its existing contractors license classification, not general asbestos work.

A Cal-OSHA registration and asbestos training under Labor Code § 6501.5 are also currently needed to perform any asbestos work.

The new “C-22" Speciality Licenses will also require Cal-OSHA registration to be effective.

A builder may hold only a “C-22" license, and limit its work to asbestos work, or also may hold other license classifications and be able to perform a broader scope of asbestos and non-asbestos work, according to explanatory materials on the proposed rule from the License Board.

Where the licensee holds other licenses, its work under the C-22 license is limited to the scope of the other licenses.

And, conversely, a holder of only the new “C-22" license, may perform asbestos removal anywhere on a job, but no other construction work.

The asbestos abatement certification under Bus. Prof. Code § 7058.5 will continue to exist, for contractors holding other licenses.

The new “C-22" license applicants must have four years qualifying experience doing asbestos work.

Of course, in addition to the proposed requirements discussed above, there are many local, State and Federal environment laws regulating the handling, transportation and disposal of asbestos-containing-and other hazardous-materials.

Contractors and property owners should ensure that all such requirements are met on the project regarding such materials, and that asbestos abatement, removal or remediation contractors are properly insured for that specific kind of work, as they face potentially extensive liability for failing to do so.

N.B. The contents of this Article do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship, and you may NOT rely on it without seeking legal advice regarding your particular situation from a competent California Construction lawyer or Construction Contracts attorney.
Please also note that factual situations vary and nd statutes, regulations and case law are frequently changing and evolving, and these materials thus also may be or become outdated or incorrect.
For further information on this topic and how the current law may apply to your particular contract, job and issues, Contact Us via email, phone (415)788-1881 or visit our website at for other contract information. © 2013, George W. Wolff , all rights reserved.