Barre, Vermont school district violated federal Asbestos Management Plan

Montplier, VT (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov announced earlier this month that Washington Central Supervisory Union agreed to resolve violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) with federal government regulators. EPA determined that $17,145 was an appropriate penalty for the violations.

The public school district in Barre, Vermont had violated AHERA because supervisors, managers and school workers failed to uphold several federal and state asbestos laws.

One of the violations cited by asbestos management inspectors was school workers did not provide written annual notifications to parents, teachers, and employee organizations of the availability of its Asbestos Management Plan (AMP). Violations of the EPA’s AHERA are serious because people attending, working, and frequenting public buildings should be protected from the hazards of asbestos. AHERA requires local education agencies to identify asbestos-containing materials in public and private elementary and secondary schools. Vermont agencies are required to develop asbestos management plans and implement those plans quickly by using preventive measures against the release of asbestos fibers.

Federal and state laws also requires schools to survey asbestos-containing materials, conduct periodic inspections of these materials, train personnel on AHERA compliance, and make the plans available to the public on a yearly basis so teachers and families can be kept informed about the location and condition of asbestos in their schools. The federal government does not recognize any type of direct or secondary exposure to asbestos containing products as safe. Asbestos fibers are known to be seriously harmful to humans and can cause numerous asbestos related illnesses including mesothelioma cancer.

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