West Virginia - Air Quality: Program Requirement

Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation

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

West Virginia Code 18-9E-3. Air quality in new schools.

(a) In an effort to create well-ventilated school environments and notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, any new school building designed and constructed in the state by a county board, regardless of the funding source, shall be designed and constructed in compliance with the current standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Handbook (ASHRAE), the National Fire Protection Association Code (NFPA) and the code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA).
(b) Upon notice from the School Building Authority that a new public school building is occupied, the division of health shall perform radon testing in the school within the first year after occupancy and at least every five years thereafter. The county board shall provide any reasonable assistance to the division of health that is necessary to perform the radon testing. The radon testing shall include all major student-occupied areas at or below grade level. If it is determined that radon is present in amounts greater than the amount determined to be acceptable by the rules promulgated by the School Building Authority, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, any industry accepted mitigation technique shall be used to reduce the radon level to the level or below the level determined acceptable by the School Building Authority.

West Virginia Code 18-9E-5. Investigation of indoor air quality complaints in existing schools and schools subsequently constructed.

(a) The state board, in consultation with the Division of Health, shall promulgate rules pursuant to article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code which require each county board to investigate all reports of indoor air quality problems within the county. The rules shall set forth a designated official or officials within the county school system to be responsible for addressing, pursuant to this section, any indoor air quality complaints. The rules also shall set forth a procedure for any party to file a complaint with the designated official or officials. Any indoor air quality complaint found to be valid by the designated official or officials shall be addressed by forming a plan of correction. Any county board that addresses an indoor air quality complaint is encouraged to seek any available assistance from local, state and federal agencies in both investigating the complaint and in forming the plan of correction. A county board shall consider any documented plans of closure of a school building when forming any plan of correction for that school building. The rules shall be submitted to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability prior to the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine. Additionally, the rules shall set an appropriate cost for a plan of correction over which all such plans of correction shall be reported to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. Based upon the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability’s experience in receiving the complaints, the commission shall submit a recommendation for funding the plans of correction.
(b) Furthermore, each plan of correction shall be incorporated into each county board’s ten-year county-wide major improvement plan set forth in section sixteen [§ 18-9D-16], article nine-d of this chapter. Also pursuant to section sixteen, article nine-d of this chapter, the state board may restrict the use of the necessary funds or otherwise allocate funds from moneys appropriated by the Legislature for those purposes set forth in section nine [§ 18-9A-9], article nine-a of this chapter: Provided, That nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted as requiring that a county board make addressing an air quality complaint a priority over other projects in the county board’s ten-year county-wide major improvement plan.

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-172-3. Handbook on Planning School Facilities.



  • 1101.07    Indoor Air Quality Standards
    • A.    There shall be no open-flame, fuel burning heaters in student and staff occupied spaces.   Direct gas fired 100% outside air makeup units for kitchen hoods or specialty locations may be considered providing they include carbon monoxide monitoring and alarming and are only used for 100% outside air makeup applications. This equipment shall be located in enclosed rooms or cabinets using outside air for combustion and be properly vented to the outside in a manner that exhausts all flue gases using appropriate piping as per ASHRAE, NFPA 54, and AGA standards
    • B.    Outside air intakes shall be located no closer than 15 feet or the standards set forth by ASHRAE Standard 62, whichever is greater, to stacks, exhaust, vents, motor vehicles and other sources of contaminates to minimize cross contamination.  Distance requirements dictated by ASHRAE Standard 62 for outside air intakes from the ground and level shall also be observed.  Stacks shall be designed to exhaust flue gas away from the building.
    • C.    Electric powered carbon monoxide monitor/alarm shall be installed in each area that produces combustion gases.  The carbon monoxide monitor/alarm shall be tied into the building control system and alarm when activated.
    • D.    Outside air dampers shall fully close when the units are off and maintain the minimum required outside air in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 62 during occupied operation in all areas.
    • E.    Heat Recovery systems are recommended for 100% outside air systems.  All heat recovery systems shall be constructed to limit cross over contamination.
    • F.    It is desired that return air dampers should be sized to produce air velocities of 1500 to 2000 fpm for thorough mixing.  The damper should be set such that any deflection of air is towards the outside air to create maximum turbulence and mixing.  The mixing damper shall extend across the full width of the unit even though the physical location of the return duct indicates that it could enter through the side to eliminate stratification.
    • G.    The HVAC cabinet insulation shall have a non-porous facing on the side exposed to the air stream in areas of potential moisture buildup (cooling coil, outside/mixed air section, etc.).  The outside air ductwork located indoors shall be externally lined only.
    • H.    All drain pans shall be double sloped to the drain outlet, the drain outlet is to be flush with the bottom of the drain pan, and meet the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.
      West Virginia Secretary of State
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