PCBs in Schools

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are human-made chemicals that were used in building materials and electrical equipment before 1980. Schools renovated or built before 1980 are more likely to have PCBs in their building materials, typically caulk and fluorescent light ballasts.

Vermont has requirements for schools to test for PCBs and to make fixes if levels are high. In 2021, a Vermont law passed (Act 74) requiring all schools built or renovated before 1980 to test their indoor air for PCBs by July 2024. In addition, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has the authority to require schools to make fixes that will lower exposure to PCBs, if levels are found at or above the school action level.

Questions? If you have questions about PCBs in schools, please email SOV.PCBSampling@vermont.gov.

School Testing Schedule

Starting in spring of 2022, schools will begin testing. DEC has hired consultants to do the indoor air testing for PCBs at the schools. A list of schools required to test and a schedule for testing is posted here (Updated 5/18/2022).  For a list of contacts of assigned Environmental Consultants and DEC Project Managers, click hereRoles for PCB Sampling Events. 

PCBs in Schools Pre-Testing Notification Letter

The pre-testing notification letter can be downloaded here.
For the pre-testing notification letter in languages other than English, click the following for Pashto, Nepali, Kirundi, French, Swahili, Vietnamese, Spanish, Dari, Burmese, Bosnian, and Dinka

PCBs in Schools Test Results

Once testing in underway, schools will be notified of the results and will be sent an individualized letter outlining next steps. A link to the results will be posted here once results start coming in.

Results at or above the school action level may indicate that PCB sources are likely present. There are four temporary occupancy options that schools can choose from while they are working with the State to address the PCB sources. All these options will protect students and staff – to different degrees – from exposure to PCBs while the school works to lower the levels over the long term.

See the four temporary occupancy options.

Questions? If you have questions about PCBs in schools, please email SOV.PCBSampling@vermont.gov.

Technical Documents

Pre-Sampling Building Inventory

Consultant CSV file 

Technical Guidance

School Action Level Adoption Memorandum 

Downloadable version of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Frequently Asked Questions

Basics about PCBs in Schools

What are PCBs?

Are PCBs found in schools?

How are students and staff exposed to PCBs in a school building?

Do PCBs affect the health of students and staff?

Should I have my blood or my child's blood tested for PCBs?

Requirements for testing and reducing exposure in schools

What are Vermont's requirements for PCBs in schools?

Are schools required to test for PCBs?

When will my school be tested?

Who is responsible for testing the indoor air of schools?

Who is responsible for making fixes to reduce exposure to PCBs?

Do schools need to pay for anything?

What happens if a school doesn't test for PCBs?

Is any follow-up or additional testing required?

Results

How long will it take to get results?

Where can I find the PCB testing results for schools?

How are results being communicated to schools?

What are School Action Levels (SAL) for PCBs in indoor air, and what do they mean?

What are the Immediate Action Levels (IAL) for PCBs in indoor air, and what do they mean?

What happens if results are below the school action level?

What happens if PCBs are found at or above the school action level?

Why is it okay for students and staff to stay in rooms that are above the school action level?

Frequently asked questions for school facility managers and maintenance staff

Why is caulk a potential source of PCB exposure?

How many schools and other buildings built or renovated before 1980 may have PCB-containing caulk?

Are PCBs present in paint used in schools and other buildings built or renovated before 1980?

What are examples of secondary sources of PCBs?

What do we know about PCB concentrations in the soils surrounding schools and other buildings constructed or renovated using PCB-containing building materials?

What can be done to reduce PCB exposures in buildings?

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management and Prevention Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704
802-828-1138