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Environmental law, schools and asbestos

Like other states, many of Georgia's schools were built when asbestos was still widely used. This means that students, staff and teachers could end up at risk. School districts need to ensure that they follow all the requirements outlined in environmental law regarding asbestos.

In many cases, nothing will need to be done. School districts can remain within the EPA's regulations as long as they have management plans that meet the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency, take any necessary steps to eliminate or reduce the risks of asbestos, and conduct inspections (done by qualified individuals) of each school to identify materials that contain asbestos. Actions are needed when serious damage has occurred to an asbestos-containing material or when asbestos fibers or dust could be dispersed into the air due to renovations or demolition.

Schools must keep students and their parents, staff members and teachers apprised of any potential risks from asbestos. In addition, updates to the management plan may be required periodically. The plan should be available for any relevant parties to review if requested. The custodial staff also need to be given the appropriate training. Qualified and trained workers must do removal of asbestos materials in accordance with current law.

Obviously, numerous requirements must be met in order to remain in compliance with the laws that relates to asbestos. It may be worth it to bring in a Georgia attorney to ensure that each school complies with current environmental law on this issue. Not only could that help make sure that no one is needlessly exposed to this destructive material, but it can also help ensure that neither the EPA nor anyone else can say that a particular school failed to comply with the law.

Source:, "Asbestos and School Buildings", Accessed on June 10, 2017

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