Schaghticoke PCB testing likely to be limited
NEW MILFORD — Experts in environmental cleanup have recommended testing waste materials from roof removal at Schaghticoke Middle School for evidence of asbestos and PCBs but that further testing is not needed.
Both the 1979 and the 1990s sections of the roof at the middle school are scheduled for replacement, and work has begun on the 1979 section. School Board Chairman David Lawson said Monday he is satisfied that testing and remediation of PCBs and asbestos on materials taken from the old roof will be sufficient.
He said he has “no longer any concerns” about testing around a row of windows between the two roof sections or on the ground around the school building.
“We heard from two independent experts and they assured us there is no need for PCB or asbestos testing beyond testing the waste materials from the roof,” Lawson said.
Lawson earlier had pushed for testing of air samples at the school after the roofs are replaced and testing of the caulking along the side windows as well as the grounds.
At Lawson’s urging, the Town Council requested testing when it approved funding for the $2.5 million project.
At the March 1 Facilities Subcommittee meeting, experts in environmental contamination cleanup took part in a conference call with subcommittee members. John Insall, national client manager with Partner Engineering and Science Inc., and Kathleen Pane, senior project manager with Fuss & O’Neil Enviroscience LLC, answered questions regarding PCB testing.
Pane said there is no requirement to test, but when dealing with roofing materials there could be concerns with the handling and disposal of materials installed before 1980. Insall agreed, but added that PCBs are more likely to be found in caulking or expansion joints and little if any is used in roofing.
But Pane noted testing is not required for the caulking on the side windows because these are not being disturbed during the renovations.
Bob Coppola, Facilities Subcommittee chairman, said he will vote against PCB testing when the topic comes up again at the subcommittee on April 5.
“Recommendations based on the two experts’ input is to do nothing with asbestos testing,” Coppola said at the March 8 Board of Education business meeting. “It doesn’t seem to be needed. I will be voting against it.”
The Facilities Subcommittee will vote April 5 whether to recommend further action, Lawson said.