Los Alamitos, CA, June 7th, 2010
This spring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined three charter school operators in Arizona. The schools were in the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas. The fines totaled in the thousands of dollars and resulted from a failure to develop asbestos management plans and not conducting inspections dating back to 2008.
According to the EPA websites, “The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), a provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act, became law in 1986. AHERA requires local education agencies to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. Public school districts and non-profit private schools (collectively called local education agencies) are subject to AHERA's requirements. This includes charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions.”
The AHERA rules require local education agencies to take actions to:
- Perform an original inspection and re-inspection every three years of asbestos-containing material;
- Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school;
- Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the school's asbestos management plan and any asbestos abatement actions taken or planned in the school;
- Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented;
- Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material;
- Ensure that properly-accredited professionals perform inspections and response actions and prepare management plans; and
- Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training.
LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading source of environmental testing services, provides asbestos testing solutions for schools nationwide. “Asbestos can be found in a wide range of common building materials found in older schools,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “These may include asbestos containing insulation, flooring, ceilings, roofing, siding, fire coating materials and a host of other old building products.”
To learn more about asbestos or other environmental testing services please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
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LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.