State law requires districts to address indoor air quality in schools.
All school buildings are subject to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-61 and the rules and regulations for Radon Control (Part 50-15-2 of this Title).
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 23-61-2. Declaration of purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health and public interest by establishing a comprehensive program to reduce exposure to radon/radon progeny levels in public and high priority buildings and to ensure that all radon/radon progeny mitigation activity in these buildings is conducted only by appropriately trained and licensed/certified personnel. The goal of this chapter is to reduce the incidence of lung cancer due to radon/radon progeny exposure in Rhode Island to the greatest extent feasible.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 23-61-4. Authority of the director.
The director is authorized to: (1) Designate a unit within the department to administer the provisions of this chapter and provide that unit with the necessary staff, equipment, and operating funds. (2) Receive and administer funding allocated for radon control programs by the state, agencies of the federal government and other appropriate funding sources. (3) Require the owner of any public or high priority building to perform such tests for radon as he or she may determine to be necessary to characterize the exposure of occupants to radon/radon progeny in the air of the building and/or in the building water supply. (4) Conduct a voluntary radon/radon progeny testing program for residents of owner occupied residential dwellings in the state. (5) Enter any public or high priority building in the state in accordance with §§ 23-61-7(a)(1) and 23-61-7(b)(4) to perform such tests for radon as he or she may determine to be necessary to evaluate the exposure of occupants to radon/radon progeny in the air of the building and/or in the building water supply. (6) Institute a public information program to include a telephone information service, written materials, and media advertisements with the purpose of informing the public regarding radon/radon progeny health effects, the necessity for testing of homes and other buildings, the recommended practices for reducing elevated levels of radon and related issues. (7) Develop and forward for adoption by the state building code commission recommendations for Standard of new construction designed to prevent or more easily mitigate elevated radon/radon progeny levels. (8) Issue regulations for the following purposes:
- (i) To establish indoor environmental air exposure Standard and guidelines for radon and radon progeny;
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 23-61-7. Radon inspections.
(a) The director, or his or her designee, is authorized to inspect any public or high priority building, during business hours, or by appointment at another time agreed to by the inspector and the owner, occupant or other person in charge of the building. The owner, occupant or other person in charge of the building shall, upon presentation of proper identification by the state inspector, for the limited purpose of inspection for elevated radon/radon progeny levels, grant the inspector entry and free access to every part of the building where elevated radon/radon progeny levels may pose a hazard. If any owner, occupant or other person in charge of the building fails or refuses to permit such access and entry to the building under his or her control, or any part thereof, the state inspector may, upon showing that probable cause exists for the inspection and for the issuance of a court order directing compliance with the inspection requirements of this section, petition and obtain an order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Any person refusing to comply with an order issued pursuant to this section shall be subject to such penalties as may be authorized by law for violation of a court order. (b) The director shall establish regulations requiring the evaluation of all public and high priority buildings for elevated levels of radon/radon progeny and/or adequacy of any radon/radon progeny mitigation activities. The regulations shall require that:
- (1) Evaluations be performed by a person licensed or certified in accordance with this chapter;
- (2) Results of the evaluations be submitted promptly to the director;
- (3) The director shall provide written notice to the building owner when an evaluation indicates that indoor radon or radon progeny levels exceed a standard or guideline established by the director and/or any radon/radon progeny mitigation activities appear to be inadequate. The notice shall include the results of the evaluation and shall require that appropriate mitigation measures be taken to reduce radon/radon progeny levels to meet the standard or guideline within a time frame established by the director.
- (4) Once written notice has been provided to the building owner, the director or his or her designee shall inspect the building at any reasonable time for the purpose of reviewing the implementation of a radon/radon progeny mitigation activity subject to § 23-61-5.