Code Rule 56 Asbestos - Related Information

Code Rule 56 Asbestos - Related 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. 


View Code Rule 56


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.


View Asbestos frequently asked Questions


View Additional Vermiculite Guidance


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.

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


You can now apply for an asbestos variance using the Management System for Protecting Workers' rights (MPWR). This completely online system speeds up the application process and makes information about applications readily available.

Using MPWR, applicants can:

  • Submit their information, upload the required documentation, and pay online in one easy step.
  • Receive real-time updates about the status of issues with respect to their application when they opt-in to receive electronic communications.

The apply online, go to and login with your account. If this is your first time applying online, click on "New Request" and select the application you want. If you do not have a account, select the option to "Create Account." If you experience problems creating the NY.GOV ID account. or if you are unable to sign into your NY.GOV ID account, please call 1-800-833-3000 for assistance.

Please click here to view a video recording for instructions on using MPWR to submit an asbestos variance application.



  • 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].

Contact 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.

Albany District

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 12226
(518) 457-1255 (FAX) (518) 485-8054
(518) 457-2072 (FAX)(518) 485-1740 (Field Office)

Buffalo District

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

New York City District

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

Syracuse District

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