EPA requires public school districts and private non-profit schools to appoint an asbestos management coordinator, called the "AHERA Designated Person." This person is responsible for a number of asbestos-related activities, including the implementation of the plan for managing asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) in the school buildings and compliance with the federal asbestos regulations.
Even though the AHERA requirements have been in place for some time, EPA has found widespread misunderstanding and confusion on how to implement the requirements, as well as how to best manage asbestos in school buildings. EPA staff have observed that the quality of school asbestos programs depend heavily on the dedication and work of the AHERA Designated Person. Schools without a competent Designated Person (DP) tend to have more AHERA violations and asbestos fiber releases. Schools with DPs who know the AHERA requirements can more effectively manage the school district's asbestos program, as well hiring and overseeing the work of others conducting asbestos-related activities in their school buildings.
The responsibilities of the AHERA Designated Person include:
|RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE AHERA DESIGNATED PERSON|
- ensure that asbestos-related activities are carried out in accordance with the AHERA requirements, such as inspections, reinspections, periodic surveillance, management plan implementation and updates, maintenance or removal of asbestos containing building materials;
- ensure that all custodial and maintenance employees are properly trained;
- ensure that all workers, building occupants, students, and their parents are notified annually about management plan availability and recent and upcoming asbestos-related activities;
- ensure that short-term workers who may come into contact with asbestos are provided information regarding the location of this asbestos;
- ensure that all warning labels are posted; and
- consider any conflicts of interest that may arise when selecting accredited personnel to conduct asbestos-related activities.