P.O. BOX 2120



October 26, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) -

Responsibilities of School Divisions


The purpose of this memo is to advise you that the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, Pesticides Asbestos Programs and Enforcement Branch Waste and Management Division, is enforcing the Federal AHERA laws in Virginia. The Department of Education is reminding public school divisions of their obligations and responsibilities with regards to these Federal requirements. The rules that pertain to the AHERA laws are published in the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 40, Part 763, Subpart E. These rules may be obtained electronically through the U. S. Government Printing Office Web page at


The AHERA rules require schools (referred in AHERA as local education agencies) to designate a LEA designee, whose job it is under the regulations to ensure their implementation within the school system. A LEA designee may choose to obtain the training needed to carry out this responsibility by attending an Asbestos Inspector and Management Planner class taught by a training provider approved by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Their Web page is located at


Specifically, public schools in Virginia must provide AHERA oversight in the following key areas:


  1. Perform an original inspection on all school buildings built prior to October 12, 1988, and document the location of asbestos materials found in the building. Schools built after that date can have a letter provided by the architect which certifies that no ACBM was specified in the construction of the building.


  1. Develop, maintain, and update an asbestos management plan and keep a copy at the school (new schools must have a plan which certifies that they are asbestos free) and perform the required re-inspection every three years for all schools which contain asbestos building materials.


  1. Provide yearly notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the schools asbestos management plan and any asbestos actions taken or planned in the school.


  1. Perform periodic surveillance of known or suspected asbestos-containing building materials.


  1. Ensure that properly-accredited and/or licensed professionals perform inspections and response actions, prepare management plans, and are responsible for the planning and execution of any asbestos abatement project.


  1. Provide custodial staff with asbestos awareness training. An excellent resource is the EPAs asbestos in schools Web page at:


Finally, should you be contacted by the EPA Region III office for non-compliance in any area of the AHERA regulations, we would advise you to take corrective actions immediately. Also, document and keep up-to-date your three year re-inspections and perform any asbestos work called for in a schools management plan. For additional information, please contact or, or by telephone at (804) 225-2035.