Outline of the state of District of Columbia
District of Columbia

Air Quality

Air Quality

State law requires districts to address indoor air quality in schools.

Code of the District of Columbia 38–825.01. Environmental programs office.


  • (1) An environmental programs office is established in the Department of General Services and shall:
    • (A) Contract with vendors to recycle all materials required by District law at all public schools, including food services, by December 31, 2010, and provide technical assistance to public charter schools about recycling[;]
    • (B) Develop a master recycling plan for public schools on or before December 31, 2011 to reach a system-wide diversion rate of 45% by August 1, 2015;
    • (C) Analyze utility usage at each public school and develop a plan to reduce that amount by 20% on or before August 1, 2015;
    • (D) Establish an integrated pest management program;
    • (E) Repealed.
    • (F) Comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program, established by 40 C.F.R. Part 745;
    • (G) Post the results of its environmental testing online;
    • (H) Promote the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program to reduce exposure to environmental factors that impact asthma among children and adults in public schools;
    • (I) Develop an electronic recycling policy for public schools on or before December 31, 2011; and
    • (J) Establish a composting program in the District of Columbia Public Schools.
  • (2) The contracts under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection shall be negotiated to provide a financial incentive to reduce the amount of waste created in public schools and, when possible, to increase diversion rates in public schools[.] (b) The District of Columbia Public Schools shall:
  • (1) Use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies in public schools; provided, that the agency may exhaust its current supply of conventional cleaners; and
  • (2) Prepare and transmit to the Mayor, the Council, and the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission, on or before December 31, 2012, a plan to use sustainable products in serving meals to students. (c) On or before December 31, 2012, the Mayor shall prepare and transmit to the Council a comprehensive report describing the implementation of recycling, composting, energy-reduction, pest management, air quality, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies programs in public schools. The report shall include:
  • (1) A thorough, school-by-school breakdown of the waste stream in public schools, including tonnages, components, and diversion rates;
  • (2) Baseline energy usage, an analysis of usage patterns, and savings achieved;
  • (3) Recommendations and a timeline for further implementing these programs; and
  • (4) A proposal for recognizing and rewarding schools that significantly improve their environmental portfolio.
Policy Type