Department of Environmental Health and Safety

StudentsDid you know that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors? Whether it is in your homes, offices or schools, indoor environmental triggers can cause illness if not prevented.

Public perception is that government agencies and regulations adequately protect children’s health at school, or that some authority provides oversight of school safety and takes measures to protect children from exposure to hazardous conditions. While this is partially true, ensuring environmentally safe schools is often left to the school district. Only a few very specific laws are actually imposed to protect children from environmental hazards for example, regulation of asbestos, lead and pesticides in schools.

Detroit Public Schools (DPS) recognizes the physical environment of its schools is critical to the success of students and staff. For this reason, in 2000, DPS made a commitment to ensure environmentally safe school buildings when it established the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

It was at that time and prior to 2000, the land for Roberto Clemente Learning Academy (formerly Beard Elementary School) was undergoing environmental remediation after contaminants were discovered on the proposed site, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) levied the largest fine in its history against a school district of $1.4 million for failure to monitor and maintain asbestos-containing materials in schools (1999), and fined $4,000 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for failure to abate asbestos-containing materials utilizing licensed and certified contractors (2000).

Challenged with the responsibility of ensuring such incidents were not to occur again and to ensure the school district complies with environmental regulatory standards in order to provide safe and clean learning environments, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety developed and implemented a Comprehensive Environmental Health and Safety Plan comprised of the following areas:

  • Asbestos
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Hazardous Chemicals and Materials
  • Aviary Concerns and Droppings
  • Environmental Site Assessments
  • Radon
  • Electrical Magnetic Fields
  • Water Quality
  • Integrated Pest Management



Environmental Health & Safety Information

Asbestos/Lead Management

2013-2014 Annual Asbestos Notification 08.07.13

Mark Stabile
Program Supervisor
Phone: (313) 578-7414
Fax: ( 313) 576-0951
Asbestos Management Program

Air/Water Quality Management

Mathew Sam, R.S.
Program Associate I
1601 Farnsworth
Detroit, MI 48211
Phone: (313) 578-7431
Fax: (313) 576-0951
Indoor Air Quality Management Program

Contact Information

Felicia Venable-Akinbode
Executive Director

Support Services Complex
Building C, 1601 Farnsworth Detroit, Michigan 48211
Phone: (313) 578-7150
Fax: (313) 576-0951