This model plan was designed as a framework for schools to use with the EPA’s Tools for Schools Action Kit. School teams developing a plan can use the whole piece or parts of the framework as a guide or adjust sections that meet the priorities of the school or school district facilities.
The Model Environmental Health Management Plan
The model environmental health management plan is meant to be used as a guide and/or framework for the creation of a school specific environmental health plan. Therefore, there is some flexibility when your school creates its own environmental health plan.
Each school will need to individualize and detail the sections according to the school. Keep in mind that the objectives and items listed in the model are minimum guidelines set out by Act 125.
However, certain sections may not apply to your school building or have already been addressed (such as an HVAC renovation or IPM plan). These items still need to be reviewed and included in your specific environmental health plan.
The model environmental health management plan is a summary checklist which allows for a quick review of the guidelines called out in Act 125 and the topics covered by Envision . The checklist is organized by topic.
Model Environmental Health Plan Summary Checklist
This checklist is also available as a printable pdf version.
Environmental Health Committee
- Form or utilize an existing Environmental Health Committee made up of a cross-section of the school community.
- Designate an individual to serve as the contact person for the schools Environmental Health Program.
- School Specific Environmental Health Plan
- Create a school specific plan utilizing the model plan.
- Initial walkthrough of school building(s) and grounds.
- Scheduled periodic walkthroughs of school building(s) and grounds.
- Annual environmental health audit & report (submitted to Commissioner of Health).
Create a consistent method to assess, address, and document potential and immediate environmental health issues and related matters.
- Utilization of checklists to document walkthroughs
- A means to document and resolve immediate environmental health issues
- Set-up a means by which documented health questions, requests, complaints and incidents can be responded to in a timely fashion
- An index of all potentially hazardous materials located in school buildings or on school grounds.
- Create a binder with all documented materials accessible to the public
Implement a means to communicate environmental health issue status with the staff, parents, and students (e.g. memos, newsletter, meetings)
- School Specific Environmental Health Policy
- Begin process of adopting a school specific policy required to obtain certificate
*Note that this policy and any other policies should be adopted in accordance with policy adoption protocols .
- Environmental Health Committee
- Maintenance/custodial persons dealing with HVAC systems
- Staff persons using/storing potentially hazardous materials
- Reduce Exposure to Potentially Hazardous Materials
- Implement program to reduce exposure to pesticides
- Remove/dispose of unused potentially hazardous materials
- Isolate and store toxic materials that can not be eliminated
- Develop purchase plan to buy least/non-hazardous supplies
- HVAC and Fresh Air Systems
- Initial walkthrough of HVAC system
- Implement a regular maintenance schedule utilizing checklists
- Create a list of preventative measures to check on a regularly scheduled basis (e.g. changing filters, drip pans, clearing air intakes and vents)
- Integrate an Emergency Response plan into the overall Environmental Health Management Plan
- Utilize the School Crisis Response Procedures
- Evaluate the Environmental Health Management Plan
- Environmental Health Committee reviews plan annually and forwards recommendations to administration
- School nurse monitors and reports on health complaints and status compared to prior year (i.e. use of rescue inhalers, types of complaints, absences)
- Head of maintenance monitors and reports on resolutions to complaints compared to prior year (i.e. location of complaints in buildings, days to resolve issue, actions taken)
- Administration monitors and reports on costs, absenteeism, and communication efforts compared to prior year
- Certificate Level Criteria
In order to obtain the certificate, there must be current documentation that indicates changes are being made. An up to date Act 125 binder containing, walkthrough notes, checklists, memos, change orders etc. satisfies this requirement.
- Adoption of an Environmental Health Policy by the School Board
- Adoption of a written plan that include:
- Annual audit of school facility and grounds
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Procedure
- Building/Renovation Procedure
- Response procedures to complaints
- Isolating and storing toxic materials that can not be eliminated
- Communication steps
- IPM program Procedures
- Policy for emergency response to an environmental hazard
- Evaluation measures
- Adopt Least/non-hazardous materials purchasing procedure and policy
- School staff participation in Environmental Health Workshop approved by the Department of health
Demonstration of exemplary progress
- Replacing products with least toxic or non-toxic
- Replacing pesticides with integrated pest management steps
- Using environmental health management practices to reduce exposure to hazardous materials
- Reducing exposures to environmental trigger to decrease the severity of asthma or allergy reactions at the school
- Implementing health cleaning and grounds keeping measures
- Radon testing ad remediation if needed
- Involving students in the process through events, classroom activities, and clubs
- Mentoring other schools
- Addressing other school environmental priorities.