August 1, 2023
People hear about asbestos in schools, and it often raises concern. When asbestos products are damaged or worn down over time, they put students, teachers, employees and visitors at risk of exposure as they become airborne. As long as a material containing asbestos remains in good/intact condition, it can be managed in place under an Asbestos Management Plan, significantly reducing the potential for concern. To handle this challenge, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) to protect occupants from asbestos exposure in school buildings.
The core idea behind AHERA is to protect schools and immediately address any asbestos hazards by requiring each elementary and secondary schools to perform an inspection for asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) and to prepare an Asbestos Management Plan. The AHERA regulations further require a reinspection of the ACBM by a Certified Asbestos Inspector and Management Planner at least once every three (3) years, which provides an excellent opportunity for schools to re-evaluate and update their programs for managing asbestos.
NOVA Engineering and Environmental recently had the opportunity to provide the 3-Year AHERA re-inspections for multiple buildings within Atlanta Public Schools. Under the direction of NOVA’s certified Asbestos Management Planner, Environmental professionals reviewed the previous reports and original inspection reports and sent a qualified inspector to the school facilities to visually assess the existing conditions within the buildings covered by the regulations. Our Environmental team completed the required AHERA re-inspection checklist during the walkthrough along with a description of the changes in the condition of known or assumed asbestos materials to update the Asbestos Management Plan with current AHERA 3-Year Re-inspection reports.
NOVA’s mission is to help schools maintain compliance with all federal and local regulations, as well as ensure that all buildings are safe as students and teachers gear up to GO Back to School!