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The Environmental Division provides the required permits to exterminate houses prior to demolition to prevent the migration of pests during the razing of properties. Solid Waste Dumpster Permits are also provided through this Division and they are inspected yearly to insure they do not become a nuisance.

How long do I have to wait before I can begin the demolition?
If the local EPA office reviews the application and determines that the asbestos notification requirement DOES NOT apply, you must wait at least 14 days after the date of the extermination and the certificate is issued before you can begin demolition.  After the 14 day waiting period, which is to give the chemicals or baits used in the extermination process sufficient time to work, the Code Enforcement Officer will inspect the location and determine if there is evidence that the structure remains infested.  If no vermin activity is observed, the Code Enforcement Officer will issue the extermination certificate immediately.  You must then take the certificate to the Department of Engineering who will advise you if you can proceed with the demolition.  However if there is evidence that the extermination was not effective you will be required to have the structure exterminated again.

If the local EPA office reviews the application and determines that the asbestos notification requirement DOES apply, they will contact you with further instructions on who to contact to have the asbestos evaluation done.  After samples of suspect material are analyzed, a lab report will be submitted to the local EPA office, which will work with the contractor to ensure that the structure is razed safely and all demolition material is tracked to an approved landfill.  The Code Enforcement Officer cannot inspect the location until the local EPA office signs off on the application that all lab reports and notification procedures have been completed.

What permits do I need to demolish a building in the City of Portsmouth?
The owner of any structure scheduled for demolition, be it residential or commercial, garage, shed, outbuilding, or dwelling, must first obtain both an EXTERMINATION PERMIT from the Health Department and a DEMOLITION PERMIT from the Department of Engineering prior to demolition.

Why do I have to obtain a DEMOLITION PERMIT to tear down a building in the city?
Whenever a structure is razed, the EXTERMINATION PERMIT issued by the Health Department is a means of notifying the Department of Engineering that the structure has been properly exterminated and approved for demolition.  The Department of Engineering will NOT issue a DEMOLITION PERMIT unless the EXTERMINATION PERMIT has been approved by the Code Enforcement Officer and a certificate issued.  Engineering will then do an on-site inspection to ensure that all electricity, water, natural gas, and sewer lines have been properly terminated or capped prior to the demolition.

The Engineering Department will also inspect the property after the demolition to ensure that the lot has been properly leveled and cleared, brought to grade, and seeded to prevent erosion.  Once the demolition process has been completed, the Department of Engineering will also notify the Scioto County Auditor that the building has been razed so that the property owner is no longer paying property tax on a structure that no longer exists.

Are there any exceptions to the EXTERMINATION PERMIT process?
The only exception to the above rules are in the case of structures that have been so heavily damaged due to fire or some other calamity that they are UNSAFE TO ENTER and/or the demolition must proceed quickly to protect the public health. In those cases the Code Enforcement Officer can waive the actual extermination requirement if the Building Official at the Department of Engineering provides the Health Department with a written declaration that the demolition must proceed as an emergency. In the case of partially damaged structures such as fires that have been contained to a certain area and can be safely entered, you still will be required to have the structure exterminated.

How do I apply for an EXTERMINATION PERMIT?
The owner or his representative must come to the Health Department at 605 Washington Street to complete a short application and submit payment for the permit.  Applications submitted without payment will not be processed.

How much does an EXTERMINATION PERMIT cost?
The cost of for an extermination permit is $25 per structure, however if a garage or shed on the same lot as the primary structure is to be razed at the same time, there will be no additional charge.

What do I do next after I apply for an EXTERMINATION PERMIT?
You must have the structure professionally exterminated by a state-licensed pest control operator (PCO).  The original receipt from the PCO must be mailed or brought in to the Health Department at 605 Washington Street to be attached to the permit application.  You can have the structure exterminated prior to filling out the application, but KEEP IN MIND THAT THE EXTERMINATION MUST NOT BE COMPLETED MORE THAN 30 DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED DEMOLITION.  If it has been more than 30 days and the structure still has not been razed because there was a delay in issuing the certificate, you MAY have to have the structure exterminated again.
Why do I have to obtain an EXTERMINATION PERMIT to tear down a building in the city?
Whenever a building is razed, vermin such as cockroaches or rodents that may be present can and will scatter to adjacent properties or structures once demolition begins, therefore all buildings scheduled for demolition must first be exterminated by a state-licensed pest control operator (PCO). The PCO will inspect and take appropriate measures, such as spraying or baiting with insecticide and/or rodenticide, to eradicate any vermin that may be infesting the structure. The extermination permit process was implemented so that the Code Enforcement Officer can oversee the extermination process and inspect the building just prior to demolition to ensure that no vermin are present at the onset of demolition. The permit process also serves to ensure that all demolitions comply with Ohio EPA guidelines regarding the removal, transport, and disposal of asbestos or other hazardous materials that may be present in the structure that is going to be razed.