After its superintendent denied for months that there was evidence of mold in the elementary school, the Montague School District now faces fines of thousands of dollars per day if health and safety violations — including microbial contamination — aren’t remedied promptly.
In an April 30 order to comply, which Superintendent Timothy Capone has yet to acknowledge publicly, state inspectors identified a roof leak that had not been repaired as the source of biologic agents causing the contamination. The state told the district it must remedy the leak and the contamination by July 17 to avoid being fined $700 per day.
The report documented five other violations, two of which were described as “serious” including failure to maintain hazard communication training records and to provide an eyewash treatment station for anyone exposed to corrosive chemicals. Non-compliance could cost the district an additional $2,750 per day per violation.
The other three violations, which have since been corrected, included failing to develop an indoor air quality control plan, to develop a written hazard communication program and to maintain an illness and injury log.
The state’s Public Employee Occupational Health and Safety Office issued the order to comply following a February inspection prompted by parent complaints of mold that Capone had publicly dismissed as “fake news” and “a running narrative without any evidence.”
With the school closed since mid-March because of COVID-19, it is unclear what steps have been taken to remedy the outstanding violations. A phone message Friday to Capone was not returned.
The Board of Education meets again at 6 p.m. Monday. Remote access will be available via a link on the school district website.
Article Source: https://www.njherald.com/news/20200628/montague-school-may-face-fines-for-mold