The Federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)(40 CFR 763) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require all public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools to reinspect previously identified and assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) in all facilities which are owned, leased, or otherwise used as a school building every three years. In conjunction with the AHERA triennial reinspection cycle, New York State schools must submit an asbestos reporting form to the Commissioner of Education on a triennial basis (§3602-a of Chapter 53 of the Laws of 1990).
The AHERA triennial reinspection may only be performed by an individual currently certified by the New York State Department of Labor as an asbestos inspector and management planner. The reinspection does not necessitate a new AHERA management plan, but rather a new section in the school's existing management plan document. The triennial reinspection provides an appropriate opportunity to revise and review the school's overall asbestos management plan. This process is the ultimate responsibility of the school's asbestos designee. Re-testing bulk samples for the reinspection is not necessary or required unless there is question of the reliability of the previous test material.
In addition to the triennial reinspection, schools are required to conduct a periodic visual surveillance of all ACBM and assumed ACBM in each building which they lease, own, or otherwise use as a school building at least once every six months. The name of the person performing the surveillance, the date, and any changes noted in the condition of the asbestos must be recorded in the school's asbestos management plan for each surveillance conducted.
Although a periodic surveillance may coincide with the upcoming triennial AHERA reinspection, the surveillance cannot serve as the triennial reinspection. The following chart illustrates the major reason for this distinction.
Periodic Six Month Surveillance
|May be performed by anyone.||Must be performed by a New York State Certified Asbestos Inspector/Management Planner.|
|Visual inspection only of ACBM.||The Inspector must "look at and touch asbestos containing material to assess its condition."|
Please feel free to contact your local BOCES Health and Safety Office or the Office of Facilities Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-474-3906 for assistance on AHERA.