Environmental Considerations For School Construction

by Pullman & Comley, LLC

Fairfield County Business Journal - July 20, 2014

School construction projects present special challenges and must be carefully managed to ensure that environmental issues are safely and well-handled and the health and safety of the school population is protected. New construction and on-site renovation projects each pose unique circumstances that must be given due consideration.

The universe of potentially problematic situations is large and often issues are not identified until construction has begun. As in all construction and renovation projects, it is important to consider potential environmental issues as part of the initial decision-making process. Due diligence is a critical first step to make certain that informed decisions are made and planning takes into account all known variables. Due diligence can serve to optimize resources, establish that an adequate project team is formed, establish responsibilities, maximize accountability, and achieve requisite transparency and community satisfaction benchmarks. Adequate due diligence also allows complete bid documents and final contracts to be prepared and awarded. Most importantly, due diligence is critical to building safe sustainable schools for this and future generations.

Connecticut school districts that use state funds in construction projects must work hand-in-hand with the State Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Division of Construction Services. DAS has a formal site school approval process that must be followed if seeking reimbursement from the state for new construction (even if an acquisition grant is not required.)

The first component of this process is to assess whether the project would directly or indirectly impact environmental resources, including floodplains, inland wetlands, protected species populations, critical habitats, coastal resources, and protected, historic and conservation areas.

Additional information including phase I, II and III reports must be submitted, as well. A phase I report considers all available information to determine the location of any possible releases of potentially hazardous materials. A phase II report contains data which confirms or negates the potential release areas identified in the Phase I and a phase III report delineates the vertical and horizontal dimensions of any release areas and is the basis for any remedial activities which must occur.

Ultimately, site choices are vetted in an effort to make sure building projects are well-situated and resources are not directed at unanticipated remedial projects.

School renovation projects that must occur in occupied buildings present their own universe of concerns. The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have resources available on their websites addressing projects occurring in occupied buildings. These include guidelines to create a comprehensive management plan to minimize or eliminate exposure of building occupants to indoor air pollutants, noise, odors and other construction-generated contaminants. Such plans should contain detailed information for responsibilities, accountability, activity preferences, communication protocols and special protective methodologies. A third party monitor who reports to the District on the implementation of the plan is recommended. Ideally, this person will be an industrial hygienist or have other environmental and construction expertise.

With good planning, communication and follow-up, school construction projects can be well- managed to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. The State of Connecticut and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency have many resources available as do other consortiums and endeavors concerned with these issues.

Reprinted with permission from the July 20, 2014 issue of the Fairfield County Business Journal.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pullman & Comley, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pullman & Comley, LLC

Pullman & Comley, LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.