August 8, 2016
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 1970’s contained some asbestos. 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 were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every three years, Richland School District has conducted a reinspection 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 3-year re-inspection, conducted December 6, 2013, 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.
The law further requires an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Richland School District developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previous 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 that they remain in good condition. Six-month re-inspections were most recently conducted in July 2016; all areas were in good condition and do not pose a health or environmental threat.
The following buildings contain no asbestos-containing building materials; therefore, no operations and maintenance programs or future inspections are required:
Asbestos abatement (non-friable floor tile and mastic) occurred at the existing Marcus Whitman and Lewis & Clark elementary schools in the spring of 2015, prior to their demolition. Sacajawea Elementary (non-friable floor tile and mastic) will be fully abated prior to demolition in the summer of 2016. The next 3-year re-inspection will be conducted in December 2016.
It is the intention of Richland School District to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos 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 in the Richland School District Support Services office or the administrative office of the school during regular business hours. Joan Gribskov is the Richland School District designated asbestos program coordinator, and all inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues should be directed to her at 509-967-6011.
Joan Gribskov, Safety Manager
AHERA Designated Person