Ensuring local schools safely manage asbestos-containing building materials in public school buildings.
NHDES ensures that all local education agencies (LEAs), which include school administrative units, safely manage asbestos-containing building materials in public schools, per the requirements of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).
NHDES conducts periodic inspections and requires notification prior to renovation or demolition projects to ensure that students, faculty and the public are not exposed to asbestos. NHDES requires that LEAs designate and train an individual to ensure that the requirements are implemented properly.
Since 1986, the Asbestos Hazards Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires public schools to properly manage asbestos. At least 10 days prior to starting any renovation or demolition projects at a school, a school must submit an Asbestos Demolition/Renovation Notification Form to NHDES. Any person conducting asbestos activities in schools must be trained and accredited in accordance with the Model Accreditation Plan. In addition, those persons must be licensed or certified in accordance with Env-A 1810.
School officials must appoint and train a “designated person” to ensure proper management of the AHERA requirements. Designated persons may attend training or use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Designated Person’s Self-Study Guide. Additional training videos are available from EPA. A copy of the school’s AHERA Designated Person Statement must be retained in the school’s Asbestos Management Plan (AMP). The designated person shall ensure that inspections, re-inspections, periodic surveillance reports, management plans, operations and maintenance programs and response actions are in compliance.
Public school districts and nonprofit schools are required to develop, maintain and update asbestos management plans (AMPs) and to keep a copy at each individual school and at the local education agency’s administrative office. These plans are available for review and are required to document the recommended asbestos response actions, the location of the asbestos within the school, and any action taken to repair and remove the material. In addition, schools are required to provide an AHERA Annual Notification to parents, teachers, and employee organizations on the availability of the school's AMP.
Training for Staff is Key!
Schools must provide two-hour Asbestos Awareness Training for all maintenance and custodial staff. In addition, schools must provide for an additional 14 hours of operations and maintenance training for staff who disturb, repair or remove less asbestos-containing building material. NHDES may be able to help provide training.
Did you know?
Did you know?
In 2019, NHDES completed AHERA inspections at 45 schools throughout New Hampshire.