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Environmental Compliance activities are guided by laws and regulations to keep our physical environment safe. Our activities include, but are not limited to:
- Coordinating the asbestos and lead based paint inspections and remediation projects,
- Performing the Indoor Air Quality inspections throughout the District,
- Managing the removal of hazardous materials from facilities within the District,
- Testing the water in all new buildings for lead, and testing the new buildings for Radon
- Managing Storm water, hazardous materials and fuel stroage permits for all District Facilities
We even have a program that takes care of burrowing owls on our properties!
Below you will find information on some of the programs and services we provide to our District.
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Regulations passed by Congress in 1986, require that public and not-for-profit non-public, elementary and secondary schools be inspected to determine the presence of asbestos containing building materials and that management plans be developed as a result of those inspections.
After the management plan has been implemented, the school district must conduct periodic surveillance in each school building that has asbestos containing building materials at least once every six months. The purpose of this surveillance is to look at all known asbestos containing building materials (ACBM) and note any changes in the material.
The School District must retain the services of a licensed asbestos inspector to conduct a re-inspection every three years subsequent to implementation of the management plan.
The School District must also maintain records required by the regulations to be included in the management plan, must provide a two hour asbestos awareness training to all maintenance and custodial staff who work in a building that contains ACBM, and at least once every school year, the school district must provide written notification to parent, teacher, and employee organizations regarding the availability of the asbestos management plans.
All of the School Board of Broward County original AHERA inspections were performed in 1988, asbestos management plans were developed for every school in the District. District employees in the Environmental Health & Safety Department perform the required six month periodic surveillance of all know ACBM at each school building, in addition the Environmental Health & Safety Department retains the services of independent state licensed asbestos consulting firms to perform the required three year re-inspections.
The Environmental Health & Safety Department initiates all asbestos inspections and abatements, maintains all records required by the AHERA regulations, updates the management plans at each facility, sends out annual notices regarding the availability of the asbestos management plans, and provides the two hour asbestos awareness training on a monthly basis, to all new maintenance and custodial staff. An asbestos management plan is located in the main administration area of every school in the District and a complete set of all asbestos management plans is kept at the Environmental Health & Safety Department.
Burrowing Owl Program
The Environmental Compliance Section of the Environmental Health & Safety Department tracks and monitors the presence of burrowing owls located on school properties. Burrowing owls may nest in any month of the year; however nesting generally takes place between February and August with fledglings appearing outside the burrows in July and August.
If a burrow is observed and located within a playground, track area, football field, baseball field or a proposed construction site on school grounds, we instruct school staff to prohibit activities in the vicinity of the burrow. We erect a barrier around the burrow utilizing rope, wood, or PVC (not plastic fencing) at a 33 foot perimeter and install a perch and sign explaining this is a protected bird site and that molesting owls or their nests is a crime. The barrier and perimeter allow for mowing to occur outside the 33 foot perimeter and string cutting with hand held equipment within the perimeter. We visually inspect the area and burrow(s) during the nesting for activity season including the number of owls present and if there are any young present.
If you have any questions or think a Burrowing Owl is present at your school please contact our department @ 754-321-4200
Indoor Air Quality
The Broward County Public Schools Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Program was developed in 2002, at that time we developed our Short Term Communication Module to address potential IAQ problems. In 2003 we partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help us implement the EPA IAQ Tools for Schools program in the District, we started with a pilot program of 35 facilities, adding 20 facilities a year, and in 2011 the final 25 facilities had participated in the program.
In 2004 the District received the EPA Leadership Award for our participation in the IAQ Tools for Schools Program, in 2005 we received the IAQ Tools for Schools Excellence Award from the EPA, and in 2007 we received the IAQ Tools for Schools Model of Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA.
Our program continues to evolve and change with new information, new assessment request procedures, and training being developed and updated yearly.
Lead Based Paint
Lead based paint was used in more than 38 million homes, and many more commercial and public buildings until it was banned in 1978.
Lead was banned in house paint, on products marketed for children and in dishes in the United States in 1978. But it is still widely used in other countries and therefore can still be found on imported toys and children's furniture.
Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell. Children may be exposed to lead from consumer products through normal hand-to-mouth activity, which is part of their normal development. They often put toys, fingers, and other objects in their mouth, exposing themselves to lead paint or dust.
Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
To report a suspicious situation or an incident:
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY or general information, questions or concerns please contact the following:
Broward County Hotline: (954) 831-4000
Florida Department of Health:
6:00 a.m. to midnight daily