LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Environmental consultants found no more asbestos in the air at Pinelands Regional High School after the district was closed most of the week due to air contamination related to a roofing project, but more results are pending, school officials said.
Acting Superintendent Cheryl Stevenson said Thursday that no decision will be made on when school will resume until the district receives additional air-quality test results.
The school district’s website was updated Thursday at noon with the latest air-quality report from Oct. 4 that found no evidence of asbestos at the high school from 13 samples. That was the second day of testing. The day prior, the report stated that of 18 samples, “one sample had one asbestos fiber detected, which could be considered background levels.” That was in the hallway by Room 171, according to the report.
The school initially closed Tuesday and Wednesday “as a precautionary measure” to undertake an air-quality test to address concerns brought before the school board at its Oct. 2 meeting, Stevenson said. The asbestos was related to a roofing project completed at the high school this summer.
“The roofing project is an ongoing process. Due to the dust and debris related to the construction, it was necessary to relocate classrooms, which raised general levels of concerns,” Stevenson said. “The original construction of the exterior roof contained Asbestos and it was removed within the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) guidelines. Since Aug. 10, 2017, we have been conducting Asbestos Air Samples to assure that all levels were within state and federal guidelines.”
Testing was performed by TTI Environmental, the district’s environmental consultant.
On Wednesday, a memo from Stevenson on the district website indicated the asbestos contamination issue was resolved.
“I am writing to let parents and staff know that all of the testing has been completed and we have written verification that the Asbestos Air Sampling performed by TTI Enviornmental, the district’s environmental consultant, were found to be within federal and state standards,” Stevenson wrote.
According to the memo, the closing was an additional precaution for the health and safety of the students while waiting for the written air quality tests to arrive Thursday.
The report states the samples were collected as a result of a roofing project “that may have potentially contaminated the indoor space.”
Some staff was asked to report to work at the district this week, but Stevenson said that they were working at the Junior High not the High School, where the contamination was found.
To read more air quality reports, visit www.pinelandsregional.org/health-and-safety.