PCBs in Schools

The identification and remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in schools is an important and urgent initiative currently active in the state of Vermont. The materials below are intended for school officials and consultants. Please keep in mind that some of this information below is technical in nature.

For general questions or to review resources for students, parents, and public, we recommend you start with our Frequently Asked Questions

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

PCB-Schools-Sampling

PCB-Schools-Notification-Letter

PCB-Schools-Technical-Documents

Overview

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. Testing of schools will be completed by July 2025. 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.

The Department of Health's PCB webpage has more information about the health impacts of PCBs.

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

Testing Schedule

Testing in schools began in spring 2022. A list of schools required to test and schedule of testing is available in PDF and Excel. Dates listed indicate the timeframe inventory will begin followed by sampling. These files were last updated on 10/19/2022. 

Indoor Air Sampling Process

DEC has hired consultants to do the indoor air testing for PCBs at the schools. Contact information is available for DEC Project Managers and environmental consultants performing the sampling.

See the indoor air sampling process for information on the sampling process occurring in schools. Total Aroclor results in ng/m3 will be reported.

Test Results

Once testing in underway, schools will be notified of the results and will be sent an individualized letter outlining next steps.

Results at or above the school action level (SAL) may indicate that PCB sources are likely present. Information on how the SALs were calculated is available on the Department of Health's website. Along with the results, schools will be given temporary occupancy options to choose from while they work 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.

School Notification Letters

The Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with VDH and AOE, have developed letters for schools to use to notify the school community of the testing process. These have been translated into a variety of languages.

Pre-Testing Notification Letters

Templates for the PCBs in Schools pre-testing notification letter are available in English, Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Dari, Dinka, French, Kirundi, Nepali, Pashto, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.

Post-Testing Notification Letters

See the temporary occupancy options (in progress)

Technical Documents

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