Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)

In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound absorbing, and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970s contained some asbestos. Intact and undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials, however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If the fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis.

In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos containing materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every three years, the District has conducted a re-inspection to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos containing materials (ACBM) has changed and made recommendations on managing and removing the ACBM.

The law further required an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. The District developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has the following ongoing requirements: publish a notification of management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos-containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition.

The following buildings do not contain asbestos-containing building materials; therefore, no operations and maintenance programs or future inspections are required: Iron Forge Elementary School & Yellow Breeches Middle School.

It is the intention of the District to comply with all federal and state regulations concerning asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. The District has completed the physical inspection and preparation of the Asbestos Management plan as required by the 1986 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). The public is welcome to review a copy
of the asbestos management plan in the District office or administrative office of the school during regular business hours. Mr. Zachary Gump is the District’s designated asbestos program coordinator, and all inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues should be directed to him at (717) 258-6484.