Right to Know
In October 1986, the United States Congress enacted the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Under this law, comprehensive regulations were developed to address the presence of asbestos in public and private elementary and secondary schools. These regulations require all schools to inspect for friable and non-friable asbestos, develop asbestos management plans that address asbestos hazards in school buildings, and implement response actions in a timely manner.
The EPA requires the school system to have an accredited inspector perform re-inspections of the asbestos material every three years. An accredited AHERA Inspection/Management Planner performed re-inspections during the 2015-2015 school year, and they made recommendations for the safe management of asbestos materials in all buildings and relocatables.
The program for fulfilling AHERA responsibilities is outlined in the asbestos management plan for each school or facility. This plan is available for review at each school site and contains information on inspections, re-inspections, response actions, and post-response action activities, including periodic surveillance activities that are planned or that are in progress.
The asbestos management plan can be reviewed at the school or at the Division of Supporting Services, 27190 Point Lookout Road, Loveville, Maryland, during normal working hours. For more information, please contact the Department of Operations at 301-475-4256, option 4.
School Pest Management Policy Statement
Structural pests, i.e., insects and rodents, carry diseases, contaminate food and food preparation areas and can cause structural damage, thus posing significant problems to people, property, and the environment. Pesticides can also pose risks through unnecessary exposures to people, property, and the environment. Pest control in the school environment must protect the health and safety of the children and staff, minimize pest damage to structures and personal property, improve the quality of the educational environment by avoiding annoyance and disruption of work and learning caused by insects, rodents and other pests. It is therefore the policy of St. Mary’s County Public Schools to adopt Integrated Pest Management for control of pests in school buildings and on school grounds.
Roles and Responsibilities
The IPM program will require the assistance and cooperation of the administration, staff and students. St. Mary’s County Public Schools have established a contact person to serve as a liaison between the administration and pest control program in order to provide oversight, consistency in the pest control program, and ensure that the provisions of IPM system are fulfilled. The contact person will advise the administration, staff, parents, guardians, and students as necessary of IPM program changes, new laws, and regulations effecting the IPM system.
The contact person will discuss the IPM system and problem areas identified through the inspection and monitoring process. The contact person also serves as the liaison between the school administration, parents, guardian, students, and staff to address questions and concerns regarding the IPM system and pest control practices. The contact person will make recommendations to correct problem areas.
Pests are populations of living organisms (insects, animals, plants, or microorganisms) that interfere with the use of the school site for human purposes. Strategies for managing pest populations will be influenced by the pest species and whether that species poses a threat to people, property, or the environment. IPM relies on the coordinated use of pest and environmental information and the best available pest management methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to students, staff, property, and the environment. Long-term control of pests is achieved by using information about the biology and habits of the pest and its interaction with its surroundings.
The Integrated Pest Management plan will be developed for the school district as required by Maryland’s Regulations pertaining to Integrated Pest Management and Notification of Pesticide Use in a public school building or on school grounds. Approved pest management plans will be developed for the site and will include any proposed pest management measures.
Pests will be managed to:
l Reduce any potential human health hazard or to protect against a significant threat to public safety.
l Prevent loss or damage to school structures or property and prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.
l Prevent pests from spreading into community, or areas beyond the site.
l Improve the quality of the educational environment for students, staff and the public.
Integrated Pest Management Procedures
IPM procedures will determine when to control pests and identify conditions contributing to pest problems through the use of monitoring and thorough inspections conducted at regular intervals. Problem areas will be identified where alternative pest control technologies can be incorporated in order to eliminate routine pesticide applications. The necessity for pest control, if warranted, will be evaluated based on information obtained from inspections and monitoring. These actions will be based on action threshold levels that will be established based on the site and pest. When pest control procedures are warranted, one or more pest control methods are utilized including sanitation, structural repair, nonchemical methods and pesticides.
IPM practitioners will depend on current, comprehensive information on the pest and its environment and the best available pest control methods. By applying IPM principles, unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage will be prevented by the most economical means while minimizing the risk to human health and the environment associated with pesticide applications.
The choice of using pesticides will be based on a review of all other available options and a determination that these options are unreasonable or have been exhausted, in order to minimize the use of pesticides. Cost or staffing considerations alone will not be adequate justification for the use of pesticides, and selected non-chemical pest management methods will be implemented whenever possible to provide the desired control. It is the policy of St. Mary’s County Public Schools to utilize IPM principles to manage pest populations adequately. The full range of pest control alternatives, including no action, will be considered.
When it is determined that a pesticide must be used in order to meet vital pest management goals, the least hazardous pesticide will be selected. The application of such pesticides is subject to the policies and procedures of St. Mary’s County Public Schools and all applicable state, federal and local regulations including the Maryland Pesticide Applicators Law and Regulations, and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Records of pesticide use shall be provided to the school by the licensee, permittee or certified applicator at the time of the pesticide application and will be maintained for 2 years. Records must be current and accurate. In addition, pest surveillance data sheets that record the number of pests or other indicators of pest populations are to be maintained to verify the need for treatments. The contact person will maintain documentation of communications to students and staff regarding IPM and pesticide use.
Pesticide Purchase and Storage
Pesticide purchases will be limited to the amount authorized for use during the year. Pesticides will be stored and disposed of in accordance with the EPA-registered label directions and state regulations. Pesticides must be stored in an appropriate, secure site not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel.
Pesticides may be used after it is determined that non-toxic options are unreasonable or have been exhausted. The least hazardous pesticide will be selected and the method and time of application will be based on the goal to minimize the potential for exposure of students and staff to the pesticide. Pesticide applications made on school property will be conducted by an individual certified as a pest control applicator or by a registered employee working under the supervision of a certified applicator. Applicators must be trained in the principles and practices of IPM and the use of pesticides. They must follow state and federal pesticide regulations and label precautions and comply with this School District’s IPM Policy and Plan.
Staff, students, pest managers, and the public will be educated about potential school pest problems and the IPM policies and procedures to be used to achieve the desired pest management objectives and will be informed of their role in meeting these objectives.
An annual review of the IPM system will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the program and whether program objectives have been achieved. This will include the review of inspection reports, sanitation reports, and other records to establish current conditions, progress of the program against pest problems and conditions, effectiveness of action thresholds, and to identify problem areas in the IPM system that may need to be modified or changed.
St. Mary’s County Public Schools will notify the school staff, students, parents and guardians prior to pesticide applications made in school buildings or on school grounds in accordance with Maryland regulations. Notices will be posted in designated areas at school and sent home to parents and guardians of elementary school students and individuals who wish to be informed in advance of pesticide applications and are on the pesticide notification list.
Mr. Terry Fenwick
Operations Foreman, St. Mary’s County Public Schools
27190 Point Lookout Road
Loveville, MD 20656
(301) 475-4256 ext. 34114
Students and staff will comply with the provisions of the IPM system by ensuring that areas requiring maintenance or repair, sanitation problems and pest problems or sightings are documented. Students and staff need to ensure good sanitation practices are followed.