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Triennial Asbestos Testing Requirements Are Unchanged

By now, most school districts are aware that according to the Federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), “all public and non-public elementary and secondary schools (K-12) are required to complete an (a) initial inspection for asbestos and (b) a re-inspection of known and assumed asbestos at least once every three (3) years (triennial) in each building which is owned, leased, or otherwise used as a school building.”

The particular year in which these Triennial Asbestos Inspections or Re-Inspections are due will vary from district to district, depending on when the Management Plan was established. For example, if the last time these updates were completed was 2016, then the re-inspections will be due this 2019 year. School districts need to prepare Management Plans to take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.

LaBella Associates has been partnering with facilities staff members for many years by providing the Asbestos Management services required to be in compliance with the AHERA regulations, as well as New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements. By obtaining accurate information during the Triennial Asbestos Inspections or Re-Inspections, LaBella can help the school districts save a substantial amount of funds for other important projects. Knowing what materials contain asbestos is a critical part of any school district’s planning and budgeting process.

Initially, LaBella’s team of highly qualified asbestos consulting professionals will meet with facilities staff to understand what reporting has been completed in the past. We understand that school districts have varying degrees of detail in their existing Triennial Asbestos Inspections or Re-Inspection documents, and therefore may require or benefit from varying levels of services; from a focused update to existing AHERA reports, to a completely new inspection in order to establish records. LaBella does not recommend “assuming” materials contain asbestos; instead, materials should be submitted for laboratory analysis in order to get a definitive answer and be able to properly plan and budget for capital improvements. Our in-house asbestos laboratory offers immediate turnaround on results at no additional cost to our clients.

Speaking of capital improvements, beyond the AHERA updates, if any asbestos-containing materials are going to be impacted in any way during renovation, or buildings are scheduled for demolition, public school districts and non-profit schools must comply with the Asbestos National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), as well as New York State Industrial Code Rule 56.

With our architects and asbestos teams working collaboratively and using the AHERA Inspection reporting, we can help limit the overall number of samples collected, alleviating over-sampling or re-sampling of materials. That is, we can help save money by planning ahead.

We’re always happy to field any question related to AHERA regulations or asbestos in general. Please contact us if you have questions or need assistance!