The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Management Plan is on file at each school’s main office for review or at the office of Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for the Hingham Public Schools at 19 Fort Hill Street, Building 132, Hingham, MA.

What is EPA doing to help keep school children safe?

EPA’s asbestos program for schools, mandated by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), and its regulations for schools and other buildings is founded on the principle of “in-place” management of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). This approach is designed to prevent asbestos exposure by teaching people to recognize asbestos-containing materials and actively monitor and, where necessary, manage them in lace. Removal of ACM is not usually necessary unless the material is severely damaged or will be disturbed by a building demolition or renovation project.

What is the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)?

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), a provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act, became law in 1986. AHERA required local education agencies to inspect their schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.

Public school districts and non-profit private schools (collectively called local education agencies) are subject to AHERA’s requirements. This includes charter schools and schools affiliated with religious institutions.

How do schools comply with AHERA?

The rules implementing AHERA are published in the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 40, Part 763, Subpart E. The AHERA rules require local education agencies to take actions to:

  • Perform an original inspection and re-inspection every three years of asbestos-containing material;
  • Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school;
  • Provide yearly notification to parents, teachers, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the school’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos abatement actions taken or planning in the school;
  • Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented;
  • Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material;
  • Ensure that properly-accredited professionals perform inspections and response actions and prepare management plans; and
  • Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training.