Illinois - Air Quality: Program Requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

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

Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-140-5. Legislative findings.

Both children and adults are vulnerable to and may be severely affected by exposure to chemicals, hazardous waste, and other environmental hazards. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency estimates that human exposure to indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times and up to 100 times higher than outdoor levels. Children, workers, teachers, janitors, and other staff members spend a significant amount of time inside school and other institutional buildings and are continuously exposed to chemicals from cleaners, waxes, deodorizers, and other maintenance products.


Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-5-10-20.48. Radon testing.

(a) It is recommended that every occupied school building of a school district be tested every 5 years for radon pursuant to rules established by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
(b) It is recommended that new schools of a school district be built using radon resistant new construction techniques, as shown in the United States Environmental Protection Agency document, Radon Prevention in the Design and Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings.
(c) Each school district may maintain, make available for review, and notify parents and faculty of test results under this Section. The district shall report radon test results to the State Board of Education, which shall prepare a report every 2 years of the results from all schools that have performed tests, to be submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor.
(d) If IEMA exempts an individual from being required to be a licensed radon professional, the individual does not need to be a licensed radon professional in order to perform screening tests under this Section. A school district may elect to have one or more employees from the district attend an IEMA-approved, Internet-based training course on school testing in order to receive an exemption to conduct testing in that school district. These school district employees must perform the measurements in accordance with procedures approved by IEMA. If an exemption from IEMA is not received, the school district must use a licensed radon professional to conduct measurements.
(e) If the results of a radon screening test under this Section are found to be 4.0 pCi/L or above, the school district may hire a licensed radon professional to perform measurements before any mitigation decisions are made. If radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L or above are found, it is recommended that affected areas be mitigated by a licensed radon mitigation professional with respect to both design and installation. IEMA may provide the school district with a list of licensed radon mitigation professionals.
(f) A screening test under this Section may be done with a test kit found in a hardware store, department store, or home improvement store or with a kit ordered through the mail or over the Internet. However, the kit must be provided by a laboratory licensed in accordance with the Radon Industry Licensing Act [420 ILCS 44/1 et seq.].


Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-105-6. Powers and duties of the Department.

(a) The Department is empowered to promulgate any rules necessary to ensure proper implementation and administration of this Act and of the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 [15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq.], and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

(b) Rules promulgated by the Department shall include, but not be limited to:

  • (1) all rules necessary to achieve compliance with the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 and the regulations promulgated thereunder;
  • (2) rules providing for the training and licensing of persons and firms to perform asbestos inspection and air sampling; to perform abatement work; and to serve as asbestos abatement contractors, management, planners, project designers, project supervisors, project managers and asbestos workers for public and private secondary and elementary schools; and any necessary rules relating to the correct and safe performance of those tasks; and
  • (3) rules for the development and submission of asbestos management plans by local educational agencies, and for review and approval of such plans by the Department.

(c) In carrying out its responsibilities under this Act, the Department shall:

  • (1) publish a list of persons and firms licensed pursuant to this Act, except that the Department shall not be required to publish a list of licensed asbestos workers;
  • (2) require each local educational agency to maintain records of asbestos-related activities, which shall be made available to the Department upon request; and
  • (3) adopt rules for the collection of fees for training course approval; and for licensing of inspectors, management planners, project designers, contractors, supervisors, air sampling professionals, project managers and workers.

Illinois Compiled Statutes 5-34-18.39. Radon testing.

(a) It is recommended that every occupied school building of the school district be tested every 5 years for radon pursuant to rules established by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
(b) It is recommended that new schools of the school district be built using radon resistant new construction techniques, as shown in the United States Environmental Protection Agency document, Radon Prevention in the Design and Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings.
(c) The school district may maintain, make available for review, and notify parents and faculty of test results under this Section. The district shall report radon test results to the State Board of Education, which shall prepare a report every 2 years of the results from all schools that have performed tests, to be submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor.
(d) If IEMA exempts an individual from being required to be a licensed radon professional, the individual does not need to be a licensed radon professional in order to perform screening tests under this Section. The school district may elect to have one or more employees from the district attend an IEMA-approved, Internet-based training course on school testing in order to receive an exemption to conduct testing in the school district. These school district employees must perform the measurements in accordance with procedures approved by IEMA. If an exemption from IEMA is not received, the school district must use a licensed radon professional to conduct measurements.
(e) If the results of a radon screening test under this Section are found to be 4.0 pCi/L or above, the school district may hire a licensed radon professional to perform measurements before any mitigation decisions are made. If radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L or above are found, it is recommended that affected areas be mitigated by a licensed radon mitigation professional with respect to both design and installation. IEMA may provide the school district with a list of licensed radon mitigation professionals.
(f) A screening test under this Section may be done with a test kit found in a hardware store, department store, or home improvement store or with a kit ordered through the mail or over the Internet. However, the kit must be provided by a laboratory licensed in accordance with the Radon Industry Licensing Act [420 ILCS 44/1 et seq.].


Illinois Compiled Statutes 5-34-205. Educational facility standards.

(a) By January 1, 2012, the district shall publish space utilization standards on the district’s website. The standards shall include the following:

  • (1) the method by which design capacity is calculated, including consideration of the requirements of elementary and secondary programs, shared campuses, after school programming, the facility needs, grade and age ranges of the attending students, and use of school buildings by governmental agencies and community organizations;
  • (2) the method to determine efficient use of a school building based upon educational program design capacity;
  • (3) the rate of utilization; and
  • (4) the standards for overcrowding and underutilization.

(b) The chief executive officer or his or her designee shall publish a space utilization report for each school building operated by the district on the district’s website by December 31 of each year.

(c) The facility performance standards provisions are as follows:

  • (1) On or before January 1, 2012, the chief executive officer shall propose minimum and optimal facility performance standards for thermal comfort, daylight, acoustics, indoor air quality, furniture ergonomics for students and staff, technology, life safety, ADA accessibility, plumbing and washroom access, environmental hazards, and walkability.
  • (2) The chief executive officer shall conduct at least one public hearing and submit the proposed educational facilities standards to each local school council and to the Chicago Public Building Commission for review and comment prior to adoption.
  • (3) After the chief executive officer has incorporated the input and recommendations of the public and the Chicago Public Building Commission, the chief executive officer shall issue final facility performance standards.
  • (4) The chief executive officer is authorized to amend the facility performance standards following the procedures in this Section.
  • (5) The final educational facility space utilization and performance standards shall be published on the district’s Internet website.
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