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EPA Cites Archdiocese of Philadelphia for Asbestos Management Violations at 12 Schools
Release Date: 4/13/2005
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
PHILADELPHIA – The mid-Atlantic office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has cited the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for violations of a federal law on the management of asbestos materials in school buildings. EPA’s administrative complaint seeks a $64,900 penalty for alleged violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (“AHERA”) at 12 Archdiocesan schools located in Philadelphia and nearby communities.
AHERA requires owners of public, private, and parochial school buildings to develop a management plan for asbestos-containing materials detailing procedures to prevent releases of asbestos fibers from these materials. The management plan must be available to staff, parents, and other interested parties. The law also requires schools to conduct surveys of asbestos-containing materials in their schools, train personnel in AHERA compliance, and conduct follow up inspections every three years and twice-yearly surveillance of these materials.
To determine the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s AHERA compliance status, EPA inspectors visited 12 randomly selected Archdiocese schools during the summer of 2003.
The inspectors documented AHERA noncompliance at all 12 schools inspected, including violations of requirements for management plans, asbestos inspection/surveillance, and employee training. The schools and alleged violations are listed on the chart below.
Note: EPA’s complaint does not allege that students or other building occupants were exposed to asbestos as a result of these violations.
The Archdiocese has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.
EPA attempts to work cooperatively with public, private, and parochial school authorities to resolve AHERA violations without litigation. Under the law, EPA may agree to reduce or eliminate penalties due to the schools’ compliance efforts, cooperation with EPA, and compliance expenditures.
After inspections in the summer of 2003, EPA engaged in discussions with representatives of the Archdiocese to resolve the alleged violations and ensure system-wide AHERA compliance. EPA has issued this complaint after these discussions failed to result in a consent agreement.
For a specific listing of the schools inspected, see the attached list.
For more information on asbestos in schools, visit EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/asbestos_in_schools.html or visit https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/help.html.
|Gwynedd Mercy Academy H.S.||1345 Sumneytown Pike|
Gwynedd Valley, Pa.
|failure to conduct re-inspections of asbestos materials, periodic surveillance, and employee training; no annual notification of asbestos management plan|
|Holy Ghost Preparatory School||2429 Bristol Pike|
|failure to conduct re-inspections of asbestos materials; no annual notification of asbestos management plan|
|Norwood Fonte Bonne Academy||8891 Germantown Ave.|
|no initial asbestos management plan on site; no annual notification of plan; failure to conduct employee training|
|Our Lady of Grace Parish School||300 Hulmeville Ave.|
|failure to conduct re-inspections of asbestos materials; no periodic surveillance, training, or annual notification of plan.|
|Queen of Peace School||835 N. Hills Ave., Glenside Pa.||no initial asbestos management plan on site; failure to conduct periodic surveillance, employee training, or annual notification of plan|
|St. Bede the Venerable School||1053 Holland Rd, Holland Pa.||failure to conduct re-inspections of asbestos materials, periodic surveillance, and employee training; no annual notification of asbestos management plan|
|St. Georges School||2700 E. Venango St., Phila||“|
|St. Martin De Porres School||2300 W. Lehigh Ave., Phila||no initial asbestos management plan on site; failure to conduct periodic surveillance, employee training, or annual notification of plan|
|St. Monica’s Senior School||16th & Porter Sts, Phila||failure to conduct re-inspections of asbestos materials, periodic surveillance, and employee training; no annual notification of asbestos management plan|
|St. Monica’s Junior School||17th & Ritner Sts., Phila||“|
|West Philadelphia Catholic H.S.||4501 Chestnut St., Phila||“|
|Visitation B.V.M. School||300 E. Lehigh St., Phila||no asbestos management plan or other required AHERA materials on site, no initial inspection|