The Maryland Department of the Environment had not inspected South Carroll High School by late yesterday to determine whether it was safe for students and faculty after mercury from a broken barometer was found in a science room last week.
MDE officials did not return phone calls requesting an explanation of why the inspection had not been conducted.
Environmental contractor AEG Environmental finished the cleanup work yesterday in a science teachers' office, a custodial storage closet, a hallway and a stairway leading to the outside. The workers thought they were finished but had not received an all-clear from MDE officials, said George Phillips, principal of the school in southern Carroll County.
Without approval from the MDE, an orientation for about 300 freshmen today will be limited to the ground floor of the two-story school, he said. MDE officials had assured Phillips that they would contact him at his home last night.