EPA Awards $137,000 for Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Asbestos Grant

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EPA awards Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Asbestos Grant

EPA posted this press release on 10/17/14:

DALLAS (Oct. 17, 2014) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality a grant to help reduce asbestos exposure in schools. The $137,000 grant will go toward compliance monitoring and assistance, public outreach, inspections, enforcement actions, and ensuring workers are properly trained and accredited.
Federal regulations require public and private schools to protect school children and employees from asbestos exposure. Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease, including lung cancer or asbesteosis. School districts must inspect their schools for asbestos-containing material, prepare management plans, and take action to prevent or reduce asbestos hazards.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality asbestos grant, $137,000, is a nice chunk of change. So, I’d expect DEQ will step up efforts to ensure school systems comply with state and federal asbestos regulations. That’s a good thing – but I recommend taking steps now to make sure your facilities are in compliance (and that includes all documentation).
If DEQ hasn’t visited some (or all!) of your facilities in a while, I’d act now to make sure DEQ is happy with your compliance status.
A few quick tips:
1. Visit your sites to make sure your onsite files are accessible – and complete.
2. Make sure your Six Month Periodic Surveillances and Asbestos Management Plan Updates are complete.
3. Make sure your custodial and maintenance staff have received training.
4. If necessary, complete the AAC-8 forms.
5. Make sure the facility’s staff can locate your asbestos management plan binder – you probably won’t be there when DEQ stops by.
If you’ve been visited recently, I wouldn’t let my guard down.
If you need help getting your asbestos management plans in order (or help checking to make sure you’re in good shape), please call or email me.
Stay in compliance, my friends.

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