Senator Madden Sponsors Bills to Inspect for and Treat Mold Hazards in School Buildings

Senator Madden is the sponsor of a pair of bills pertaining to the inspection and abatement of mold in school buildings.

The first bill, S2896, would require within 18 months of passage and every 5 years thereafter, the superintendent of each school district in the State, and the chief administrator of each private school and charter school within the State, to inspect and evaluate all buildings under their supervision for the presence of mold. The inspections would be conducted consistent with procedures established by the Department of Health for mold hazard evaluation, assessment, and abatement of building interiors.

If mold is detected, within two months the superintendent or chief administrator would be required to develop a plan and implementation schedule for mold hazard abatement. This mold hazard abatement must be implemented within six months of the development of the plan. Inspection results and mold hazard abatement schedules would be made available to parents or guardians of students in contaminated schools as appropriate.

The second bill, S2897, would require the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to develop procedures for the inspection, identification, evaluation, and abatement of mold hazards in residential buildings and schools. These procedures are to be consistent with standards and guidelines developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Additionally, the bill provides for the establishment of programs to certify mold inspectors and mold hazard abatement workers. The rules and regulations for the establishment of these certification programs are to be adopted within twelve months of the effective date of the bill. This will give DCA oversight of people who represent themselves to the public as experts in mold hazard inspection and abatement.

This pair of bills working in concert will serve to make schools safer for children by helping to ensure a mold-free learning environment.