Only half of Utah's school districts met an Environmental Protection Agency deadline for submitting plans for removing or stabilizing asbestos in schools. Twenty of the 40 districts requested extensions until May 9, as allowed by a federal law, said Larry Larkin of the Bureau of Air Quality.
Of the 850 expected school site plans, only 375 have been submitted to the bureau, Larkin said. Granite, the state's largest district is among those that have asked for more time.Each district was required to inspect all its buildings, identify asbestos-containing building materials and develop a plan to eliminate any potential health hazard, either by removing the materials or encapsulating them.
"The EPA required very detailed plans. I doubt anyone will get them 100 percent perfect, but so far, there seem to be only minor technical errors. I'm impressed that all the districts are doing what they are asked," Larkin said.
Many districts have complained that the EPA requirement is excessive and that they don't have the money to do what the federal agency demands.