Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6426

Public Act No. 03-220

AN ACT CONCERNING INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN SCHOOLS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 10-220 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) Each local or regional board of education shall maintain good public elementary and secondary schools, implement the educational interests of the state as defined in section 10-4a and provide such other educational activities as in its judgment will best serve the interests of the school district; provided any board of education may secure such opportunities in another school district in accordance with provisions of the general statutes and shall give all the children of the school district as nearly equal advantages as may be practicable; shall provide an appropriate learning environment for its students which includes (1) adequate instructional books, supplies, materials, equipment, staffing, facilities and technology, (2) equitable allocation of resources among its schools, [and] (3) proper maintenance of facilities, and (4) a safe school setting; shall have charge of the schools of its respective school district; shall make a continuing study of the need for school facilities and of a long-term school building program and from time to time make recommendations based on such study to the town; shall adopt and implement an indoor air quality program that provides for ongoing maintenance and facility reviews necessary for the maintenance and improvement of the indoor air quality of its facilities; shall report annually to the Commissioner of Education on the condition of its facilities and the action taken to implement its long-term school building program and indoor air quality program, which report the [commissioner] Commissioner of Education shall use to prepare an annual report that said commissioner shall submit in accordance with section 11-4a to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education; shall advise the Commissioner of Education of the relationship between any individual school building project pursuant to chapter 173 and such long-term school building program; shall have the care, maintenance and operation of buildings, lands, apparatus and other property used for school purposes and at all times shall insure all such buildings and all capital equipment contained therein against loss in an amount not less than eighty per cent of replacement cost; shall determine the number, age and qualifications of the pupils to be admitted into each school; shall develop and implement a written plan for minority staff recruitment for purposes of subdivision (3) of section 10-4a; shall employ and dismiss the teachers of the schools of such district subject to the provisions of sections 10-151 and 10-158a; shall designate the schools which shall be attended by the various children within the school district; shall make such provisions as will enable each child of school age, residing in the district to attend some public day school for the period required by law and provide for the transportation of children wherever transportation is reasonable and desirable, and for such purpose may make contracts covering periods of not more than five years; may place in an alternative school program or other suitable educational program a pupil enrolling in school who is nineteen years of age or older and cannot acquire a sufficient number of credits for graduation by age twenty-one; may arrange with the board of education of an adjacent town for the instruction therein of such children as can attend school in such adjacent town more conveniently; shall cause each child five years of age and over and under eighteen years of age who is not a high school graduate and is living in the school district to attend school in accordance with the provisions of section 10-184, and shall perform all acts required of it by the town or necessary to carry into effect the powers and duties imposed by law.

Sec. 2. Section 10-220 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows (Effective July 1, 2003):

(NEW) (d) Prior to January 1, 2008, and every five years thereafter, for every school building that is or has been constructed, extended, renovated or replaced on or after January 1, 2003, a local or regional board of education shall provide for a uniform inspection and evaluation program of the indoor air quality within such buildings, such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program. The inspection and evaluation program shall include, but not be limited to, a review, inspection or evaluation of the following: (1) The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; (2) radon levels in the water and the air; (3) potential for exposure to microbiological airborne particles, including, but not limited to, fungi, mold and bacteria; (4) chemical compounds of concern to indoor air quality including, but not limited to, volatile organic compounds; (5) the degree of pest infestation, including, but not limited to, insect and rodents; (6) the degree of pesticide usage; (7) the presence of and the plans for removal of any hazardous substances that are contained on the list prepared pursuant to Section 302 of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 USC 9601 et seq. ; (8) ventilation systems; (9) plumbing, including water distribution systems, drainage systems and fixtures; (10) moisture incursion; (11) the overall cleanliness of the facilities; (12) building structural elements, including, but not limited to, roofing, basements or slabs; (13) the use of space, particularly areas that were designed to be unoccupied; and (14) the provision of indoor air quality maintenance training for building staff. Local and regional boards of education conducting evaluations pursuant to this subsection shall make available for public inspection the results of the inspection and evaluation at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

Sec. 3. Section 10-282 of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivision (19) as follows (Effective July 1, 2003):

(NEW) (19) "Certified school indoor air quality emergency" means the existence of a building condition determined by the Department of Public Health to present a substantial and imminent adverse health risk that requires remediation in an amount greater than one hundred thousand dollars.

Sec. 4. Subsection (b) of section 10-283 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) Notwithstanding the application date requirements of this section, the Commissioner of Education may approve applications for grants to assist school building projects to remedy damage from fire and catastrophe, to correct safety, health and other code violations, to replace roofs, to remedy a certified school indoor air quality emergency, or to purchase and install portable classroom buildings at any time within the limit of available grant authorization and make payments thereon within the limit of appropriated funds, provided portable classroom building projects shall not create a new facility or cause an existing facility to be modified so that the portable buildings comprise a substantial percentage of the total facility area, as determined by the commissioner.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 10-286 of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivision (9) as follows (Effective July 1, 2003):

(NEW) (9) In the case of projects approved to remedy certified school indoor air quality emergencies, the eligible percentage, as determined in section 10-285a, of the eligible cost as determined by the Commissioner of Education.

Sec. 6. Section 10-291 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) No school building project for which state assistance is sought shall be undertaken except according to a plan and on a site approved by the [state] Department of Education, the town or regional board of education and by the building committee of such town or district. No such school building project shall be undertaken at an expense exceeding the sum which the town or regional district may appropriate for the project. In the case of a school building project financed in whole or in part by an energy conservation lease purchase agreement, the expense of the project shall not exceed the sum which the town or regional school district approved for the project. A copy of final plans and specifications for each phase of site development and construction of all school building projects and for each phase thereof including site development shall be filed with the Commissioner of Education subject to the provisions of section 10-292 before the start of such phase of development or construction shall be begun. In the case of a school building project which is a new construction, extension or replacement of a building to be used for public school purposes, the town or regional board of education and the building committee of such town or district, prior to the approval of the architectural plans pursuant to the provisions of section 10-292, shall provide for a Phase I environmental site assessment in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard #1527, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, or similar subsequent standards. The costs of performing such Phase I environmental site assessment shall be considered eligible costs of such school construction project. A town or regional school district may commence a phase of development or construction before completion of final plans and specifications for the whole project provided a copy of the latest preliminary plan and cost estimate for such project which has been approved by the town or regional board of education and by the building committee shall be submitted with the final plans and specifications for such phase. Any board of education which, prior to the approval of a grant commitment by the General Assembly, commences any portion of a school construction project or causes any such project to be let out for bid, shall not be eligible for a school construction grant until a grant commitment is so approved.

(b) The Department of Education shall not approve a school building project plan or site, as applicable, if:

(1) The site is in an area of moderate or high radon potential, as indicated in the Department of Environmental Protection's Radon Potential Map, or similar subsequent publications, except where the school building project plan incorporates construction techniques to mitigate radon levels in the air of the facility;

(2) The plans incorporate new roof construction or total replacement of an existing roof and do not provide for the following: (A) A minimum roof pitch of one-half inch per foot, (B) a minimum twenty-year unlimited manufacturer's guarantee for water tightness covering material and workmanship on the entire roofing system, (C) the inclusion of vapor retarders, insulation, bitumen, felts, membranes, flashings, metals, decks and any other feature required by the roof design, and (D) that all manufacturer's materials to be used in the roofing system are specified to meet the latest standards for individual components of the roofing systems of the American Society for Testing and Materials;

(3) In the case of a major alteration, renovation or extension of a building to be used for public school purposes, the plans do not incorporate the guidelines set forth in the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association's publication entitled "Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction" or similar subsequent publications; or

(4) In the case of a new construction, extension, renovation or replacement, the plans do not include a plan that the building maintenance staff responsible for such facility are trained or are receiving training or that the applicant plans to provide training in the appropriate areas of plant operations including, but not limited to, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems pursuant to section 7 of this act, with specific training relative to indoor air quality.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2003) (a) For purposes of this section "Standard 62" means the American Society of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Engineers Standard 62 entitled "Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality", as referenced by the State Building Code adopted under section 29-252 of the general statutes.

(b) Each local or regional board of education shall ensure that its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is (1) maintained and operated in accordance with the prevailing maintenance standards, such as Standard 62, at the time of installation or renovation of such system, and (2) operated continuously during the hours in which students or school personnel occupy school facilities, except (A) during scheduled maintenance and emergency repairs, and (B) during periods for which school officials can demonstrate to the local or regional board of education's satisfaction that the quantity of outdoor air supplied by an air supply system that is not mechanically driven meets the Standard 62 requirements for air changes per hour.

(c) Each local or regional board of education shall maintain records of the maintenance of its heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for a period of not less than five years.

Sec. 8. Section 10-286 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows (Effective July 1, 2003):

(NEW) (d) In the computation of grants pursuant to this section for any school building project authorized by the General Assembly pursuant to section 10-283 after January 1, 2004, any maximum square footage per pupil limit established pursuant to this chapter or any regulation adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to this chapter shall be increased by up to one per cent to accommodate a heating, ventilation or air conditioning system, if needed.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2003) Each local and regional board of education may establish an indoor air quality committee for each school district or facility to increase staff and student awareness of facets of the environment that affect the health of the occupants of school facilities including, but not limited to, air quality, water quality and the presence of radon. Such committee shall include, but not be limited to, at least one administrator, one maintenance staff member, one teacher, one school health staff member, one parent of a student and two members-at-large from the school district. No local or regional board of education, superintendent or school administrator may prohibit a school safety committee established pursuant to section 10-220f of the general statutes from addressing indoor air quality issues that affect the health of occupants of school facilities.

Approved July 9, 2003