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Poe Hall Initial Phase Testing Report

Good evening,

Chancellor Woodson indicated in his message to you earlier today that we would deliver the initial phase test results for Poe Hall as soon as possible. We received the report from our environmental consultant, Geosyntec, late this afternoon, and we’re sharing with you first. You can view the full report here.

It’s important to note that on page nine of the report, next steps include taking similar samples with the heating, air and ventilation system (HVAC) turned on. This will help the consultants identify more precisely the building materials containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

A brief overview of the report and findings:

  • All samples, both air and surface, particularly in high-traffic or high-touch areas, were collected with the HVAC turned off.
  • For each of the 14 indoor air samples collected, all results for PCBs, specifically for Aroclor-1262, were below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) established exposure levels for evaluating PCBs in school indoor air environments like Poe Hall.
  • Approximately two-thirds of 67 surface samples collected had undetectable concentrations of PCBs. Approximately one-third had detectable levels, and all but one of those were well below the EPA threshold.
  • Concentrations for both air and surface samples were low overall, but were generally higher on floors 3 through 7 than on floors 1 and 2, which is consistent with the division of HVAC circulation zones in Poe Hall.

Recommendations and Next Steps

Based on the results from this round of testing, Geosyntec will move forward with additional evaluation of the building with the HVAC system turned on. This next phase will also involve a review of building materials used in Poe Hall to identify the potential sources of the PCBs being detected. Following this testing, we hope to have a better understanding of the building overall, including potential issues, so we can develop a strategy for any needed mitigation in partnership with the EPA.

One of the reasons why Geosyntec was the selected consultant was its in-house toxicology expertise. We have asked Geosyntec to conduct a more detailed analysis of potential human health effects associated with exposure.

As we move forward, we will continue to be transparent and are committed to providing you with accurate, science-based information, including from outside experts. Any updates we have on the process will be shared with you, as well as posted on the website.

We also want to reiterate what Chancellor Woodson shared in his message this morning. If you need additional support, please seek help and resources through either Wolfpack Wellness or the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.

Please take care of yourselves, and be on the lookout for more information as we go forward.

Thank you,

Warwick Arden
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Charles Maimone
Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration