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Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, heretofore the AHERA, was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in October of 1986. It is one of a series of acts aimed at controlling the amount of asbestos in the air and people’s exposure to the deadly fibers.

It was signed, as stated earlier, on October 22, 1986. The Act is, in actuality, Title II of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). Title II (AHERA) required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose rules by April 20, 1987. This gave them 180 days after the original bill was signed. The proposed rules had to be approved and published for the benefit of the public by October 17 of the same year. The rules of the EPA had to cover seven broad categories.

For starters, the rules had to 1) provide for the inspection of all public and private school buildings for Asbestos-Containing Materials; 2) identify circumstances that would require a response by the local education agencies (LEAs); 3) describe the appropriate response by the LEAs; 4) describe the implementation of response actions; 5) establish a reinspection and periodic surveillance program for ACM; 6) establish an operations and maintenance program for friable ACM (ACM that is easily crumbled or reduced to powder); and 7) allow for the preparation and implementation of asbestos plans by the LEAs and the submission of the plans to the individual state governors.

Basically, the act requires all local education agencies to identify asbestos-containing materials in their school buildings. These LEAs are also required to take appropriate actions to control the release of asbestos fibers into the air. These actions are supposed to be described in management plans. The management plans must be available to all concerned persons as well as be submitted to the state governors. The final portion of the EPA’s rules requires that the LEAs use specially-trained persons to conduct inspections for asbestos, develop the management plans, and design as well as conduct major actions to control asbestos. As with every government action, there are exceptions. In this case, the exceptions excuse from following these rules local education agencies that have previously conducted inspections. LEAs that are already subject to any state requirements that are at least as stringent as those of the TSCA are also exempt from following the AHERA.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to asbestos or developed Mesothelioma, contact the Mesothelioma Lawsuit Lawyers of Williams Hart at 800-781-3955 to discuss your legal options and to schedule a free initial consultation.

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