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Code Rule 56 Related Helpful Information

Code Rule 56 – Asbestos (effective March 21, 2007)

On March 21, 2007, the New York State Department of Labor adopted corrections for Code Rule 56 to incorporate Federal Standards and to correct typographical errors. You can view or print a copy of Code Rule 56 (open in a new window) in PDF format.

On April 8, 2011 the New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) issued a list of frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ) regarding asbestos air/bulk sample collection and analysis methodologies.  On June 22, 2012 ELAP revised this document as it relates to vermiculite bulk sample analysis and has also issued more specific guidance on vermiculite bulk sample analysis.

Below is a link to the revised FAQ document:

Asbestos FAQs

The following is a link to the additional guidance document

Noteworthy issues covered within these documents include bulk sample analysis methodologies analyzing suspect ceiling tile samples containing cellulose by NOB methodology, surface dust/residue sample collection/analysis, and guidance on bulk sample analysis of vermiculite insulation and vermiculite containing materials, as currently there is no reliable bulk analysis methodology for vermiculite.

New - On July 9, 2013 the New York State Department of Health issued an interim guidance letter to provide a testing alternative for materials containing vermiculite.  This is to be used until new testing methods are established that effectively remove vermiculite from test samples and accurately identify asbestos.  The following guidance letter supersedes and replaces FAQ #10, as well as the June 22, 2012 guidance letter: guidance letter  


Where there are practical difficulties in complying with Code Rule 56, DOL may provide relief in the form of a variance decision. The Asbestos Variances Fact Sheet (open in a new window) explains the types of variances that DOL issues:

  • Applicable Variance
  • Blanket Variance
  • Site-Specific Variance
  • Multi-Site Variance


  • A currently trained and DOL-certified Project Designer (who works for a DOL-licensed asbestos contractor) must prepare and submit each variance petition
  • All new Site-Specific Variance decisions will remain in effect one year from the date of issuance (unless otherwise stated)
  • DOL has terminated all Applicable Variances, Blanket Variances and Multi-Site Variances based upon the November 9, 1994 version or earlier versions of Code Rule 56

Existing Applicable Variances

  • All Applicable Variances will be numbered consecutively as AV-A-#.
  • Existing Applicable Variances are listed below:

Compliance Assistance Documents

The Department of Labor has developed the following Compliance Assistance Documents to supplement Code Rule 56:

The Guidance Document is in a question and answer format to help you apply Code Rule 56. DOL revises this document periodically to add new questions and appropriate responses as they develop.

You can submit questions or comments for the Guidance Document to the following email: [email protected].

Asbestos Control Bureau

The Asbestos Control Bureau enforces Code Rule 56.

If you have any more questions or need further help regarding the Code Rule or any other asbestos matter, please contact your Asbestos District Office from the list below or call the Engineering Services Unit at (518) 457-1536.



Counties - Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Fulton, Green, Montgomery, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington

State Office Campus, Room 157, Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-1255 (FAX) (518) 485-8054
(518) 457-2072 (FAX)(518) 485-1740 (Field Office)


Counties - Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates

65 Court Street, Rm. 405, Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-7601 (716) 847-7126 (FAX) (716) 847-7138


Counties - Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Westchester

One Hudson Square, 75 Varick Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013
(212) 775-3538 (FAX) (212) 775-3527


Counties - Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins

450 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 479-3215 (FAX) (315) 479-3451


State Office Campus, Room 154, Albany, NY 12240
(518) 457-1536 (FAX) (518) 457-1301

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