On Monday May 1, District students, families, and staff were invited to join Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington, Chief Operating Officer Oz Hill and healthcare professionals, Ruth McDermott-Levy, and Monica Harmon, in a Community Environmental Information Session. The District shared information regarding the District’s work to manage environmental concerns, with a focus on asbestos, and identified healthcare resources in our community.
Learn from an expert!
Dr Arthur Frank is an internationally renowned expert on environmental and occupational health. He has studied asbestos and its effects for over 50 years. Currently he is a Drexel University professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health and travels the world studying and sharing knowledge about asbestos issues.
Fact v. Fiction
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires the School District (SDP) to inspect schools for asbestos-containing building material and prepare management plans that make recommendations for the reduction of asbestos hazards. For more information about AHERA rules, the responsibilities of the District and asbestos itself, please visit the EPA’s website.
Specifically, AHERA rules require SDP to take the following actions:
- Perform an original inspection and re-inspection every three years of asbestos-containing material
- Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school
- Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the school’s asbestos management plan and any asbestos abatement actions taken or planned in the school
- Designate a contact person to ensure the responsibilities of the local education agency are properly implemented
- Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building material
- Ensure that properly-accredited professionals perform inspections and response actions and prepare management plans
- Provide custodial staff with asbestos-awareness training
SDP’s Office of Environmental Management & Services implements programming that complies with the AHERA requirements. The District’s AHERA Coordinator is a Pennsylvania-licensed AHERA Building Inspector and Management Planner.
How to read the reports:
Each report contains a lot of information. Here, in order to help you navigate the reports, we outline the information that is most important to parents and families. The Executive Summary, sections 1 through 5, contains the first group of tables that give a snapshot of all of the materials in the building. When you click on a report below, look for the following tables in order:
- Confirmed Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of all material within the building that we know contains asbestos. This material should never be disturbed.
- Assumed Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of material within the building that might contain asbestos but was not tested. This material should never be disturbed.
- Non-asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of all material within the building that has been tested and confirmed to not contain asbestos. These material are not hazardous.
- Non-suspect Asbestos Containing Building Material for this location: a list of building material that typically never contains asbestos. These materials have not been tested and are not hazardous.
*For the purposes of testing for asbestos, Auditoriums are considered separate structures from the rest of the building. Therefore, if a building has an auditorium, there will be a separate table.
After this first group of tables, scroll down to Section II find the Room by Room reports. These reports give specific details about every space in the building. Use the definitions to the right to help you read the room by room reports.
- ACBM = Asbestos Containing Building Material
- ACM = Asbestos Containing Material
- Confirmed = describes material that has been tested and found to contain asbestos.
- Assumed = describes material that has not been tested, but may contain asbestos.
- Non-Suspect = A term for material that characteristically does not contain asbestos and is not tested for asbestos.
- NAD = No Asbestos Detected. Describes material that was tested and determined to not contain asbestos.
- Element = Some campuses have multiple buildings (main building, annex, little school house, etc.). Element denotes the structure that the information is referring to. The main building is typically denoted as “1”.
- SF, LF, EA = Square Feet, Linear Feet, Each
2022/23 AHERA Reports
2018/19 AHERA Reports
School District Inspections
In addition to the regular AHERA inspections, the School District of Philadelphia implements proactive and reactive protocols to monitor the environmental conditions, and control or repair them as needed.
- At every school, Facilities Area Coordinators (FACs), Building Engineers (BEs), and principals partner to perform building-wide visual inspections during the school year. All suspected and confirmed adverse environmental conditions (asbestos, lead, mold, etc.) are recorded and submitted as work orders. A work order could trigger:
- In the event of a suspected or confirmed imminent hazard (damage in an occupied or high traffic area, or in an area where the condition could spread) an evaluation to determine the scope of repairs within 24 hours and the repairs being complete within 48 hours. The school community will be informed of the scope of work and effect to the building occupants throughout the repair process.
- In the event of non-imminent damage, an evaluation to determine control measures until repairs can be made.
- An evaluation to determine exact scope of the damage. In some cases, reports made during the visual inspection may not require additional work or attention.
- Asbestos inspections are performed before any construction project at a school, no matter how big or small the project.
- All scopes for major capital projects include a building-wide environmental conditions assessment. The results of these assessments can inform adjustments and revisions to the original scope – to account for abatements, testing, etc.
- School building occupants should report suspected or confirmed damage to the Building Engineer as soon as possible. The Building Engineer reports to the Facilities Area Coordinator (FAC) who reports to the Office of Environmental Management & Services (OEMS). A Building Inspector from OEMS will respond to the original report within 24 hours.
- In the event that an imminent hazard (damage in an occupied or high traffic area, or in an area where the condition could spread) is confirmed by the building inspector, repairs will be complete within 48 hours. The school community will be informed of the scope of work and effect to the building occupants throughout the repair process.
- In the event of non-imminent damage, an evaluation to determine control measures will be conducted.
- In some cases, reports made may not require additional work or attention. This will be communicated to the school community.
- Building occupants, parents and community members can report suspected or confirmed asbestos damage to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 SDP Inspection Reports
As a precautionary measure, when necessary the District hires licensed environmental professionals to remove asbestos containing materials such as flooring, pipe insulation, and visible dust or debris.
At the seven schools listed below, after the removal, all areas passed the re-occupancy criteria required by the Philadelphia Asbestos Control Regulations and are safe for students and staff. Click the links to view the action plan reports with details including the areas that were cleaned and abated, test results, and other information:
Moore Elementary School
Olney Elementary School