There has been much concern over the recent asbestos situation in our schools. In April of 2003 a state inspector performed a compliance inspection of the three Amity school campuses, evaluating the requirements of the regulations in effect under the Asbestos Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Several violations were noted and a Notice of Noncompliance was issued to the Superintendent in June of 2003. The following violations were noted:

· Failure to notify parents, teachers and employee organizations of the availability of the school's asbestos management plan (AMP);

· lack of 6 month periodic surveillance (since 1997);

· lack of 3 year Reinspection for the junior highs (1999) reports;

· failure to train new custodial and maintenance employees within 60 days of employment;

· Documentation for response action conducted in August 2001 for work performed in Orange

A school's compliance is detailed in the following link

A response submitted by the Superintendent in August of 2003 attached the notification to parents sent out. The notification states that the asbestos identified 'is primarily in maintenance areas not accessible to students'.

Also attached was the sixt month surveillance report performed in the two junior highs by Wayne Casper, ServiceMaster supervisor who left employment in May of 2003. The surveillance consists of a separate report each for the Orange and Bethany campuses. Each report is approximately 35 pages and details the location and condition of the asbestos present, each classroom on a separate page. Conditions range from chipping to gauges, cracking in doorways, water damaged tiles, loose tiles, cupping, holes and broken tiles. Of the three choices 'encapsulated', 'enclosed' or 'neither', 'neither' was checked on each sheet. Degree of activity level near material is listed as 'High' on each page. These reports are in stark contradiction to the letter mailed out to the community noting the location of the asbestos.

The most questionable aspect of these reports is that each page is hand signed by Mr. Casper and dated November 13, 2003 (Bethany) and November 14, 2003 (Orange). Note that Mr. Casper left the District in late May of 2003.

The opinions in this column are those of Lorri Cavaliere and do not necessarily reprresent those of this publication.