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Environmental Safety

Integrated Pest Management Program: The purpose of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is to provide an environmentally responsible long-range systems approach to pest management within our schools.

Applying IPM principles is intended to prevent unacceptable levels of pest activity, by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment. The full range of escalating alternatives, including no action and/or changes in maintenance practices, will be considered.

Notification of Pesticide/Herbicide (P/H) applications: 

  • Schools shall provide notice, annually or upon enrollment or hiring, of the district’s pest control program, which includes the posting and notice requirements for pesticide application. 
  • To notify parents, staff and other users of school properties of a planned pesticide application, written pre-notification will be given to the building administrator. The building administrator will be responsible for pre-notification of interested parents/guardians and staff of upcoming Pesticide/Herbicide (P/H) treatments. Posters will be provided to the building administrator to be posted in designated areas at the school. Such posters will normally be provided at least 48 hours before the application of P/H. When school is not in session, prior notice will not be given if there are 48 hours or more before students reoccupy. In this circumstance, treated areas will still be posted at the time of application.
  • Signs will be placed at the main entrance(s) to each school and near the site of interior applications. If the application of ground, the entries to the grounds areas and the main entrance of the school will be posted as well as the site of application. Signs must be placed at all entrances to an affected area or building, and in other strategic locations to prevent human contact with the treated area. Signs will remain in place for at least 24 hours after application or under manufacturer’s direction if longer.

Products to be used: 

  • Zep Wasp and Hornet Killer, Ranger Pro, SureGuard, Ferromec AC, AmPro Weed and Feed, Casoron 4G, PasturePro, Amine 400 2-4D, Candor, Talstar, Phantom, Tempo, Shurcrop Ferrous Sulphate, Specticle G, ant baits (Terro, Advance, Uncle Alberts) and rodent baits (Contrac, Wisdom and Suspend SC)

Location of where Pesticides/Herbicides may be applied:

  • Playfields, ball fields, lawn areas, ornamental beds, trees and school buildings (interior and exterior). NOTE: Records of applications and the annual summary of Pesticides/Herbicides applied are on file with Tacoma Public Schools. A copy of this program or the above documents may be requested through our Public Records Office located at 601 S. 8th St., Tacoma, WA 98405. Interested parents/guardians of students or staff at a specific school may annually request advance notice of P/H application through their principal. (Revised 4/2015)

Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act: In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act AHERA), which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos-containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every 3 years, Tacoma Public Schools conducts a reinspection of each site to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) has changed and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM. At the
last reinspection, all materials listed in the management plan as asbestos-containing (or assumed to be asbestos-containing) were inspected. The law further requires an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Tacoma Public Schools developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos-containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition. Each school has an AHERA binder in the main office.

The following schools contain no asbestos-containing building materials; therefore, no operations and maintenance programs or future inspections are required: Mount Tahoma High, Science and Math Institute, Baker Middle, First Creek Middle, Giaudrone Middle, Gray Middle, Jason Lee Middle, Mason Middle, Meeker Middle, Truman Middle, Stewart Middle and Wainwright Middle and the following elementary schools: Blix, Crescent Heights, DeLong, Edison, Fern Hill, Franklin, Geiger, Jefferson, Lister, Manitou Park, McCarver, Northeast Tacoma, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford and Washington.

It is the intention of Tacoma Public Schools to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in the school district administrative office or administrative office of the school during regular business hours. All inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues should be directed to the Maintenance and Operations Department at 253-571-3300. (AHERA information adapted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Page last updated: 06/30/18

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