November 26, 2010
Contact: Bill Hayden
, 406 888-7930
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials have received the official test results for hazardous materials from the Park Headquarters building. Comprehensive tests were performed throughout the building. All of those tests, taken in areas of the building disturbed by construction, have come back negative for asbestos. Tests were also conducted on areas of the building not disturbed by the construction, and three of those do show asbestos, but are not a hazard unless they are disturbed and the asbestos becomes airborne. Tests performed on air and dust samples for lead also returned results that show only very low and non-hazardous levels of lead.
On Thursday morning, November 18, employees of the building were notified of a potential risk of exposure and evacuated from the building. On that morning it was discovered that testing for hazardous materials, prior to the start of construction on the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC), had not been performed. All work was halted on the project at that point and employees relocated to different work spaces in different buildings in the headquarters area and in Apgar Village.
At this point, even though the building is safe to enter, it is anticipated that staff will continue to work in alternative work areas until the completion of the HVAC project. This decision was made to provide employees with a construction dust free working environment, and to allow the construction to proceed as rapidly as possible.
Park functions will continue with slight modifications. Mail and phone service is continuing and visitor contact service is being provided at the Apgar Visitor Center. The Visitor Center Hours have been expanded to seven day a week service from 9:00am to 4:30pm. The Visitor Center will be closed on holidays.