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Are the school system's maintenance or storage facilities (e.g., bus garage or warehouse) covered by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)?

In general, the answer is yes. Section 202 of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) defines “school building” to include “... any maintenance, storage, or utility facility, including any hallway, essential to the operation of any facility described” in the statute’s definition of “school building.” Some of the facilities specifically mentioned in the definition of school building include classrooms, libraries, gymnasiums, and administrative offices. For purposes of the rule, the facility is deemed essential if the local education agency(LEA) uses the facility. If an LEA facility of this type is vacant (i.e., empty storage facilities, empty warehouses, etc.), it is not deemed essential, and therefore is exempt. Once the LEA begins to use these facilities, however, they become essential and must be addressed as required by the rule.