ASBESTOS HAZARD EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACT (AHERA) was passed by Congress in 1986 to protect children and workers in primary and secondary schools from unintentional asbestos exposure. Under this Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools rule, 40 CFR part 763 subpart E that requires all public and private non-profit schools with grades K-12 to inspect all school buildings for asbestos-containing building material (ACBM). The rule also requires schools to develop an asbestos management plan based on the findings of the inspection and take action to protect human health and the environment when necessary.
On February 15, 2001, Title 11 Chapter 502 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), “Asbestos Containing Materials in Schools” was adopted by the Hawaii State legislature. These rules essentially mirror the requirements of AHERA regulations, 40 CFR Part 763 Subpart E, and contain an inclusion that requires for-profit schools to comply with these adopted state regulations.
THE ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN
Each school must implement the Asbestos Management Plan. The asbestos management plan documents the presence, condition and/or absence of ACBM in school buildings and outlines steps that will be taken to properly manage any ACBM present. Asbestos management plans are developed by a contracted certified management planner and any changes/revisions to a school’s management plans may only be performed by a certified management planner. The asbestos management plan is maintained in the school’s administrative office copy machine room on the shelf and is available to all employees and the public for their review, if requested.
Schools with ACM are required to conduct bi-yearly periodic surveillances to determine any change in the ACM. Every year, the school is required to provide employees, parents and students with an annual notification informing them, in part, of the availability of the asbestos management plan. The asbestos management plan for school buildings with asbestos-containing materials (ACM) indicates location of the ACM.