The Monitor

Ebola Preparedness

Preparedness is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the fact of being ready for something; the state of being prepared”. Past issues of The Monitor have addressed many facets of preparedness, through disaster plans to preparedness in the home.

With this year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the several cases that were recently treated in the United States, AMA feels compelled to share web links in order for our environmental, health and safety community to be better informed and better prepared in the event there is a rise in Ebola cases here in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) continue to update guidance documents on their websites. As researchers, scientists and medical professionals begin to learn more about this deadly virus, we can expect ongoing updates to practices and procedures for those protecting themselves from Ebola.

To keep up to date visit:

CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ and,
OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ebola/ and,
WHO (World Health Organization) http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/

Remember: the better educated, informed and prepared an organization is for any type of crisis, the more effective that organization will be should a crisis occur.

EPA RRP Rule Enforcement Actions

The EPA recently announced enforcement actions to contractors found to be non-compliant with the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Settlements were reached between May 2013 and January 2014. There were seventeen (17) contractors that did not obtain the mandatory RRP certification prior to performing renovation activities on pre-1978 homes. Twenty-one (21) settlements were for violations dealing with contractors that did not follow required lead-safe work practices. Additionally, three (3) settlements involved general contractors failing to ensure that their subcontractors followed the RRP standards. The enforcement actions led to civil penalties in excess of $274,000.

AHERA Compliance

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) audits schools each year in Maryland for local education agency (LEA) compliance with the AHERA rules and regulations. Last year, the audits occurred from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. The following are the top seven violations found by MDE:

  • 30 violations – Failed to maintain records
  • 15 violations – Failed to ensure proper compliance of response actions
  • 14 violations – Failed to sample new material, or assume the new material as asbestos
  • 13 violations – Failed to notify shot term workers concerning the asbestos found in the schools
  • 12 violations – Failed to provide initial or annual notifications to parents, teachers, and employee organizations concerning the asbestos found in the schools
  • 12 violations – Failed to conduct periodic surveillance every six months
  • 12 violations – Failed to Qualify for an AHERA exclusion

Each of these violations carries a fine of up $6,500 per violation. The entire list of violations can be found in the December 2013 Asbestos 101 newsletter from MDE.

AMA approved by D.C. to teach the 8-Hour Lead-Dust Sampling Technician Course

This course meets the training certification requirements for the District of Columbia Lead-Dust Sampling Technician. The course teaches individuals how to conduct Renovation Permit, Change in Occupancy and Interim Controls lead dust sampling under the District of Columbia’s new lead regulations. This course is designed to be taught over an 8-hour time period with 2 hours devoted to hands-on training.

An AMA certificate of completion is provided for each student upon successful completion of the course.

This course is ideal for Property Managers and personnel dealing with tenant turnover, renovations and/or interim controls.