What homeowners with children need to know about the Vermont Bill that addresses Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in schools

This section addresses Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) testing, remediation, and removal in schools in the state of Vermont. Here’s what homeowners, particularly those with school-age children, need to know about this section:

1. PCB Testing in Schools:

The Department of Environmental Conservation, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Agency of Education, will use funds to conduct indoor air quality testing for PCBs in public schools and approved independent schools that were constructed or renovated before 1980. This testing aims to identify the presence of PCB contamination in schools.

2. Timeline for Testing:

All schools subject to this section must complete testing for PCBs by July 1, 2027. Homeowners with children attending schools built or renovated before 1980 should be aware that testing will be conducted to ensure a safe environment for students and staff.

3. Remediation and Removal Funding:

The section outlines provisions for funding the investigation, remediation, and removal of PCBs from schools. The Education Fund is used for these purposes, including grants to schools required to conduct PCB contamination investigation, remediation, or removal.

4. Grants for Remediation Costs:

Homeowners should know that schools in the state that need to conduct PCB remediation or removal will receive grants from the Agency of Education. These grants will cover 100% of the costs required for investigation, remediation, or removal as mandated by the Agency of Natural Resources rules.

5. Grant Reimbursement:

Schools that have previously received a grant from the Agency of Education for 80% of their remediation or removal costs may be eligible for additional grants to reimburse the remaining costs not covered by the initial grant.

6. Burlington High School Demolition:

Part of the funds will be allocated to reimburse the Burlington School District for the demolition and removal of PCB contamination at Burlington High School, up to a specified amount.

7. Reimbursement from Litigation:

If a school district recovers money from litigation or other awards related to work covered under a grant issued for PCB investigation, testing, assessment, remediation, or removal, the school district is required to reimburse the state. Reimbursement will be the lesser of the recovery amount or the grant awarded.

8. State Action against Manufacturers:

The state has the authority to recover money from PCB manufacturers to cover expenses related to PCB investigation, testing, assessment, remediation, or removal in schools that exceed the relevant action level.

In summary, homeowners with school-age children should be aware of the state’s efforts to ensure safe and healthy environments in schools through PCB testing, remediation, and removal. The provision aims to address potential health concerns related to PCB contamination and allocate funds for necessary actions.

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