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E-M:/ Detroit Public Schools Busted Big on Asbestos



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 17:47:35 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200004262147.RAA06047@mountain.epa.gov>
Bcc:
From: kelley.jeff@epa.gov
Subject: EPA CITES DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR ASBESTOS VIOLATIONS; 
PROPOSES NEARLY $1.5 MILLION FINE
Status: U

U.S. EPA REGION 5 NEWS RELEASE
------------------------------
Media Contact: Karen Thompson
(312) 353-8547
Technical Contact: Pamela Grace
(312) 353-2833
Legal Contact: Karl Karg
(312) 886-7948

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2000
No. 00-OPA081

EPA CITES DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR ASBESTOS
VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES NEARLY $1.5 MILLION FINE

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has
recently filed a civil administrative complaint against the
Detroit Public School District for alleged violations of
Federal regulations on asbestos. A $1.408 million penalty
has been proposed.

EPA began investigating the Detroit School District in
December 1998 following a parent's complaint. The Asbestos
Hazard Emergency Response Act requires school districts to
conduct asbestos inspections every three years to determine
if the material has become damaged or deteriorated
(friable) and whether it poses a health risk to students
and faculty.

"Based on our inspection and the response we received from
school officials, we feared widespread asbestos compliance
problems throughout the Detroit School District," said
Phyllis Reed, chief of the regional Pesticides and Toxics
Branch. A January 2000 response from the schools
indicated that 256 of the district's 263 school buildings
did not meet Federal requirements.

"Our complaint is not about minor 'paperwork' violations,
but goes to the heart of how the asbestos program is
supposed to function to protect public health in schools,"
said EPA Regional Administrator Francis X. Lyons.
Lyons said EPA has talked with the public schools and city
officials in Detroit and all are working to reach a timely
resolution.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and was commonly
used as a fireproofing and thermal insulating material.
Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can cause people to
develop a asbestosis (a lung disease) and mesothelioma (a
type of lung cancer) years after exposure.
###



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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
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