Granite School District will ask the state's Air Quality Bureau to extend its deadline for meeting federal requirements to survey schools for asbestos and completing a management plan to deal with the substance.

Although the district has completed the survey of its schools and other buildings, it needs more time to prioritize needs for asbestos abatement and develop its management plan, said Frank Willardsen, assistant superintendent for administrative services.The option of extending the Oct. 12 deadline to next spring was granted by federal legislation, he said.

Granite District, the state's largest, spent $188,660 this year to conduct the inspections required by the Environmental Protection Agency. School personnel and resources were used whenever possible, Willardsen said. Of that total, $33,284 was paid to consultants, and $26,487 was used to deal with asbestos problems uncovered in the inspections and deemed to require immediate remediation.

The costs of safely maintaining known asbestos in the schools and removing those sources that can't be safely left in place will be costly, Willardsen said. He expects to request $150,000-$200,000 for next year's asbestos budget.

Most of the asbestos found in Granite schools and ancillary buildings is in tunnels and does not pose any health hazard to students or personnel, he said. Testing of floor tiles that contain the fibers indicated it would take major damage to create a hazard.

The EPA toughened its asbestos requirements for schools last year because too many schools ignored earlier mandates.