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Facilities Planning

Have All Your School Buildings Been Inspected for Asbestos?


The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Public Law 99-519, passed by Congress in 1986, requires public and nonpublic elementary and secondary (K-12) school officials to conduct an asbestos inspection prior to the building being used as a school. Should occupancy be an emergency, AHERA requires the asbestos inspection to be completed within 30 days of occupancy (763.85(2)).

As the 1995 triennial asbestos reinspection approaches, schools should take the time to review their records to determine if all school buildings, as defined in AHERA, have in fact been inspected for asbestos. If any school buildings are found not to have been inspected, a New York State Department of Labor-certified asbestos inspector should conduct an inspection as soon as possible. An asbestos management plan must also be developed for that building by a New York State Department of Labor certified management planner. Assurance of the management plan development must be sent to the State Education Department.

This means that any time a public or nonpublic school leases a new building, or owns, or operates a building within the scope of AHERA an asbestos inspection must occur. If the building is newly constructed, a letter from the architect stating that the building materials do not contain any asbestos will satisfy AHERA compliance.

Should you need the proper forms to satisfy AHERA compliance or have questions, please contact the State Education Department's Central Services Team 1 environmental/occupational health and safety staff at (518) 474-3906.