DOE Hawaii Schools Building Exterior Soils Study

The Hawaii Department of Education (HDOE) retained Integral Consulting Inc. (Integral) to perform an assessment of potential human health hazards in building exterior soils at various schools, and to develop an environmental hazard management plan (EHMP) to support the management of soils containing hazardous substances. Soils with hazardous substances at concentrations above Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) environmental action levels (EALs) could present a human health hazard if direct exposure through ingestion or inhalation with soil were to occur.

The EHMP “framework” document provides guidance on managing soils with hazardous substances at concentrations above action levels at schools statewide. This document does not provide school-specific guidance, but instead provides a general framework for managing contaminated soils at all schools. The framework is based on a current understanding of building exterior soil contamination at schools, developed from recent soil investigations at 23 schools in the Hilo, Waiakea, Kau, Keaau, Pahoa, and Laupahoehoe complexes (eastern portion of the Hawaii District, island of Hawaii). At these schools, soils were identified with arsenic, lead, and chlordane at concentrations above HDOH action level. As additional soil assessments are conducted at other schools, this EHMP framework document is expected to evolve and become more comprehensive with respect to the variation of soil contaminants and the range of soil management tools to be employed.

The Soil Assessment Findings report documents the results of sampling and analysis of soils in open spaces and along building perimeters at various schools.

Please see these fact sheets for additional information on preventing exposure.
What You Need to Know About Lead, Arsenic, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Soils at Hawai‘i Schools
Clean Soil: A Building Block for Creating a Safe Garden at Your School

For school specific question, please contact the DOE School Administrator.