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(Updated Information is available in Information Letter #41 dated September 29, 2005)





TO:                    Superintendents of Schools

FROM:              Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:               September 2, 2005

SUBJECT:        Chemicals in Schools –Upcoming Workshop

As you are undoubtedly aware, several agencies in Maine regulate chemicals in schools.   The Department of Education is one of those agencies, and it regulates chemicals in schools under Chapter 161, “Purchase and Storage of Hazardous Chemicals.”   Earlier this year, the timelines for compliance with certain rules regarding chemicals in public schools were provided in Administrative Letter #33, dated June 9, 2005.   Rules regarding chemicals in schools have been in place for more than a decade, but were recently reinforced during the last legislative session.   The Department intends to assist schools with compliance regarding this very important health and safety issue.

The Department is requiring that all public schools electronically submit chemical inventories to the Department by September 21, 2005, to comply with the legislative mandate and already existing rules.   Please ensure that your middle and high schools with laboratories are inventoried for hazardous chemicals using the form provided on Department of Education and Department of Environmental Protection websites, Lab Chemical Inventory Form .   The electronic inventory should be submitted to Ed Antz at: .

The Department, in collaboration with other agencies including Maine School Management Association, and the Maine Departments of Labor, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, will sponsor a Superintendents Workshop – Chemicals in Schools on October 14, 2005, at the Elks Lodge in Augusta from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m  (see the DRAFT AGENDA here).   This training should be invaluable in terms of explaining applicable rules and regulations, agency priorities, and resource materials to school principals and chemical hygiene officers in middle and high schools, and will provide a forum to discuss concerns about chemicals, and the removal of chemicals, in schools.

It is important that schools develop, implement, and make an on-going commitment to programs that promote the safe use, handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals in middle and high schools, which are ultimately under your control.

Please contact Ed Antz, at 624-6886, or e-mail him, at, with questions or concerns.  Please print this Registration Form, fill it out and fax it to Karen Bossie at fax # 624-6618 by October 3, 2005.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you as we deal with chemicals in our schools.