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ASBESTOS CLEANUP

Salt Lake School District will spend almost $500,000 in the next two years to clean up asbestos in its schools.

"It's almost all in basements. There is nothing posing a health hazard to kids or staff," said district buildings and grounds director Stephen Harman. He said most asbestos is found in school boiler rooms, often as pipe and boiler coverings.By federal law, school districts must clean up asbestos in their schools. School districts had to submit detailed cleanup plans to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.

Harman said the Salt Lake District will pay for the cleanup with its capital project funds. The Utah State Office of Education has asked the Legislature for at least $5 million to remove asbestos from schools statewide.

City schools with no friable asbestos include Backman, Bennion, Emerson, Ensign, Franklin, Hawthorne, Jackson, Lincoln, Meadowlark, Wasatch and Washington elmentary schools. The city's other schools have some asbestos that is friable, meaning it's powdery and airborne or potentially airborne.

Each school has a plan detailing cleanup and location of the asbestos. The plans are open to public inspection and are located in the principal's office.