CCSA Answers: Compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

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January 6, 2012

Question: Does the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) apply to charter schools?

Answer: Yes, it does. Federal law prohibits public schools receiving federal funds, including charter schools, from occupying facilities which may expose students to asbestos in a flaky, breathable form, and to lead-based paint, which may be ingested, causing health problems.

Before leasing a building charter schools should determine whether it contains asbestos or lead-based paint. In addition, charter schools that have been granted use of district buildings which have not been used recently should be sure to ask the district for proof that the buildings have been professionally checked for these hazardous materials, before occupying them. It is better to check this up front as going through an abatement process to remove asbestos can be very expensive.

Get more information from the Environmental Protection Agency (PDF)

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