Regulatory Requirements for Asbestos in School

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has been delegated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct periodic Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) compliance inspections in Maine's non-profit school systems. The purpose of the DEP's program is to provide compliance assistance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and to monitor LEAs' compliance with AHERA requirements.

AHERA Background

AHERA was enacted in 1986. The purpose of AHERA is to ensure that LEAs safely manage asbestos containing materials found in schools. This is done through the implementation of a school-specific Management Plan. The regulation requires LEAs to:

  • designate and train an individual (the Designated Person) to ensure that the LEA's AHERA requirements are implemented properly;
  • ensure that an accredited person conducts an initial inspection in each school building;
  • ensure that an accredited person develops a Management Plan for each school building;
  • ensure that only accredited persons design and conduct response actions;
  • provide asbestos awareness training to all maintenance and custodial staff;
  • notify building occupants and workers annually of all asbestos-related activities;
  • ensure that all short-term workers who may come into contact with asbestos-containing materials in the school are provided with information regarding its location;
  • develop an Operations and Maintenance Plan whenever friable asbestos is present in a school building;
  • perform 6 month periodic surveillance to document any changes in the condition of asbestos-containing materials;
  • post warning labels in all routine maintenance areas;
  • ensure that an accredited person conducts a reinspection of the school at least every three years after the initial inspection; and
  • document all asbestos-related activities in the Management Plan.

Hiring to have an initial inspection and development of a Management Plan

In order to meet the requirements of the AHERA regulations, an LEA needs to retain the services of an accredited asbestos professional to perform an initial inspection and develop a Management Plan. DEP maintains an up-to-date list of Maine-based firms that are licensed to do this work; please call (207)287-2651 to get the list. We suggest that you contact at least three of these firms. Having the following information available before you contact them will assist these firms in providing you with a more precise quote for services;

  • Age of the building(s);
  • Total square footage on the building(s);
  • Number of rooms (per building); and
  • Total square footage on the building(s);
  • Number of rooms (per building); and
  • Type of heating system

If you have any questions on AHERA requirements for schools, please contact the MEDEP Asbestos Unit at 287-7688 for assistance.