Dear Parents, Teachers, Building Occupants, and Employee Organizations:
In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound absorbing, and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970s contained some asbestos. According to Asbestos Maintenance Policy, intact and undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials; however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If the fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis.
In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials are located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to the condition and potential hazard. In compliance with the law, every three years, Petersburg City Public Schools has conducted a re-inspection of its buildings to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) has changed, and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM. At the last re-inspection conducted in August 2019, all materials listed in the Management Plan as asbestos-containing (or assumed to be asbestos-containing) were inspected and found to be in good condition.
AHERA further required an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Petersburg City Public Schools developed a plan as required, which has been continually updated. The plan contains several ongoing requirements as required by law: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure they remain in good condition.
It is the intention of Petersburg City Public Schools to comply with all federal and state regulations regarding the control asbestos containing (or assumed to be asbestos-containing) materials and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan by contacting the director, operations at 804-861-4996.