The nine treated by a Woodbridge asbestos removal contractor who wasn't licensed for the work are being tested again - this time, to make sure they're safe for children to return to when school opens in September.
Woodbridge Schools Superintendent John Crowe said that the nine affected schools throughout the district are being tested for asbestos by RAM Environmental Services.
"They've inspected the encapsulation and said it was fine," said Crowe, who doesn't envision there being any delay in returning children to the classrooms this school term.
"We're just being proactive" in making sure the schools are fit for students, Crowe said.
Nine Woodbridge Township schools were among dozens of facilities in several counties treated by William T. Muzzio Jr. of Citadel Environmental Consultants. Muzzio, a Woodbridge contractor, was arrested August 2 after the most recent incident: a daycare center in Union Township, where he was hired to remove pipe insulation containing asbestos in a basement boiler room.
Among the dozens of charges Muzzio faces are allegations that he falsified his asbestos removal certification credentials.
That's what happened in Woodbridge, Crowe said.
"He gave us a forged document. He suggested to us he was a state vendor," Crowe said.
The township isn't required to inspect asbestos removal work, Crowe said. Muzzio encapsulated the asbestos in place in the Woodbridge schools so it wouldn't have to be removed.
The nine Woodbridge schools affected by the unlicensed contractor are:
- Woodbridge High School, Woodbridge
- Colonia High School, Colonia
- John F. Kennedy High School, Iselin
- Kennedy Park School, Iselin
- Matthew Jago Elementary School, Sewaren
- Oak Ridge Heights School, Colonia
- Woodbridge Middle School, Woodbridge
- Ross Street School, Woodbridge
- Fords Middle School, Fords
Muzzio has been charged with 10 counts of the unlawful release of a toxic pollutant, 36 counts of removing or encapsulating asbestos without a license, one count of theft by deception, and two counts of forging documents. He was arrested and held in Union County Jail on $75,000 bail, the NJ Office of the Attorney General said last week.