DOE Hawaiʻi Schools Building Exterior Soils Study


The Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) 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 DOH environmental action levels (EALs) could present a human health hazard if direct exposure to soil via ingestion or inhalation 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, Waiākea, Kaʻū, Keaʻau, Pāhoa, and Laupāhoehoe complexes (the eastern portion of the Hawaiʻi District, island of Hawaiʻi). At these schools, soils were identified with arsenic, lead, and chlordane at concentrations above DOH action levels. 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.

For school-specific questions, please contact the appropriate DOE school administrator.

Environmental hazard management plans (EHMPs) for individual schools: