H. B. 2759
(By Delegates Manuel, Doyle and Pino)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Education.]
A BILL to amend chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article nine-e, relating
to indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings built for and owned
by county boards of education and the governing boards of
public institutions of higher education; providing
legislative findings and intent; defining certain terms;
authorizing the designation of a building official to ensure
new building construction complies with recognized standards
for indoor air quality; encouraging alternative systems of
construction and design to meet recognized IAQ standards;
outlining plan specifications and authority of a building
official to inspect plans and construction, as well as to
enforce the IAQ standards; establishing minimum ventilation criteria; requiring new buildings to incorporate radon
resistance systems into the plans and construction;
requiring county boards of education and higher education
governing boards to establish and implement an IAQ
compliance program with a designated person to monitor
compliance; providing for reduction of indoor air
contaminants and microbial contaminants; establishing plans
for maintaining indoor air quality during renovation and
remodeling of existing school buildings; providing training
and information for employees involved in cleaning and
maintenance of building systems affecting IAQ; establishing
record keeping requirements and providing a remedy for
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article nine-e, to read
ARTICLE 9E. AIR QUALITY CONTROL IN SCHOOLS.
§18-9E-1. Legislative findings and intent.
The Legislature finds the following:
Poor ventilation and airborne contaminants can pose serious
health risks for students and employees in West Virginia schools. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
considers indoor air pollution to be one of our nation's greatest
environmental threats, with long term health effects including
cancer and respiratory diseases such as asthma and pneumouia.
Radon, a known cause of cancer, can build up in dangerous levels
in schools with poor ventilation. Data from the West Virginia
office of environmental health sciences reveals that more than
one thousand of West Virginia classrooms tested exceeded the
concentrations of radon recognized as safe for humans. The most
common cause of poor indoor air quality is insufficient
ventilation which allows the build-up of air contaminants. A
1996 general accounting office study found that forty-six percent
of West Virginia schools reported insufficient ventilation and
over seventy-one percent of West Virginia schools reported at
least one unsatisfactory environmental condition.
The EPA has reported that increased costs in sick leave,
absenteeism, increased health care and lost productivity due to
poor indoor air quality are unacceptably high, estimated as being
greater than ten billion dollars. The costs of adequately
addressing these problems is far less. Children are most
vulnerable to indoor air problems which adversely affect their
health as well as their ability to learn.
Therefore, it is the intent of this article to set construction and maintenance standards for West Virginia public
school buildings which ensure adequate ventilation to provide
fresh air and adequate filtration and exhaust to reduce indoor
air pollutants in order to protect the health and safety of
students and employees. It is intended that the provisions of
this article provide flexibility to permit the use of innovative
approaches for the design and installation of ventilation exhaust
and filtration systems and radon mitigation systems in new school
construction to ensure high quality indoor air.
This article is not intended to modify or replace any
existing environmental, safety or health requirements. If any
provision of this article conflicts with any other law, building
code or safety and health requirements pertaining to air quality
in public schools, it is intended that the provision which
provides the stricter standard for indoor air quality shall
§18-9E-2. Scope of this article exceptions for addition to
(a) Any new building constructed for use as a public school
or institution of higher learning on or after the first day of
July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, and any additions
to any existing school or institution of higher education after
such date shall be planned, designed and constructed in compliance with the provisions of this article.
(b) Additions to existing buildings shall be permitted
without requiring existing building and structure to comply with
the requirements of this article, provided that the new addition
conforms to such requirements.
(c) Additions to existing buildings which do not require the
construction of foundations, crawlspaces, slabs or basements are
not required to meet the requirements of this article for radon
(d) Historic buildings as defined in section three-k of this
article are exempt from the provisions of this article only to
the extent necessary to preserve those features essential to
their historic appearance or function.
(e) All new and existing public education buildings shall be
maintained pursuant to sections nine through fifteen of this
article to ensure that indoor air quality continues to meet
For purposes of this article, certain words, phrases and
acronyms are defined as follows:
(a) "Air contaminants" means substances contained in the
vapors from paint, cleaning chemicals, pesticides and solvents,
particulate, outdoor air pollutants and other airborne substances which alone or in combination may cause material physical
impairments to students or employees.
(b) "Active soil depressurization system" (ASD) means a
radon control technique that depressurizes the space below a
concrete slab or other oil gas retarder relative to the space
above it. The purpose of ASD is to maintain a slightly lower
pressure in the soil gas under the slab or other soil gas
retarder, compared to the indoor pressure above it, to ensure
that flows are from the indoors to the soil, in order to prevent
mass transport of radon gas from the earth to the indoor air.
(c) "ASHRAE" means American society of heating,
refrigerating and air conditioning engineers, Inc.
(d) "Building" means any structure or addition to an
existing structure, built for use as a public school or public
institution of higher education where construction thereof
begins on or after the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-seven, subject to the exceptions provided for in
this section. For the purposes of the provisions set forth in
sections nine through sixteen of this article, the word
"building" shall also include all buildings or structures
appended to such buildings that are used as public schools or
public institutions of higher education, regardless of when the
buildings or structures were built.
(e) "Building official" means the person designated,
pursuant to section four of this article, to ensure that
buildings constructed on or after the first day of July, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, are in compliance with the
requirements of this article.
(f) "Building related illness" means specific medical
conditions of known etiology which can be documented by physical
signs and laboratory findings. These illnesses include sensory
irritation when caused by known agents, respiratory allergies,
asthma, nosocomial infections, humidifier fever, hypersensitivity
pneumonitis, legionnaires' disease, and the signs and symptoms
characteristic of exposure to chemical or biological substances
such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, pesticides, endotoxins or
(g) "Building systems" means systems including, but not
limited to, the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)
system, the potable water systems, the energy management system
and all other systems in a facility which may affect indoor air
(h) "CFM" means cubic feet per minute.
(i) "Designated person" means a person who has the
responsibility to take necessary measures to assure compliance
with sections nine through fifteen of this article and who is knowledgeable of these standards, the building systems of the
employer and has received training related to maintaining high
standards of indoor air quality.
(j) "Employer" means county boards of education and the
governing boards of public institutions of higher education.
(k) "Historic buildings" means any buildings or structures
located in the state which are considered to be of importance to
the history, architecture or culture of an area by an appropriate
state, or federal governmental agency or registry. Included
within this meaning are buildings and structures named by
official national or state listings such as the national register
of historic places, the state register of historic places and
state points of historical interest.
(l) "HVAC" means the collective components of the heating,
ventilation and air conditioning systems, including, but not
limited to, filters and frames, cooling coil condensate drip pans
and drainage piping, outside air dampers and actuators,
humidifiers, air distribution ductwork, automatic temperature
controls and cooling towers.
(m) "Mitigate" means to design, select, apply and install
systems, materials and processes that reduce radon concentrations
in the indoor air and prevent entry of radon into the indoor air
of a building, so that the average indoor radon concentration is reduced to an acceptable level.
(n) "PPM" means parts per million.
(o) "Picocurie per liter, pCi/L" means a common unit of
measurement of the concentration of radioactivity in a gas. One
pCi/L corresponds to 2.22 radioactive disintegrations per minute
per liter of air.
(p) "Renovation and remodeling" means building modification
involving activities that include, but are not limited to: (1)
Removal or replacement of walls, ceilings, floors, carpet and
components such as moldings, cabinets, doors and windows; (2)
painting, decorating, demolition, surface refinishing and removal
or cleaning of ventilation ducts.
(q) "Source specific ventilation system" means a mechanical
ventilation system including all fans, controls and ducts, which
is dedicated to exhausting contaminant-laden air to the exterior
of the building from the room or space in which the contaminant
(r) "Ventilation" means the process of supplying and
removing air by natural or mechanical means to and from any
space. Such air may or may not be conditioned.
(s) "Ventilation, mechanical" means the introduction and
distribution of outdoor air and the removal of indoor air by
(t) "Whole building ventilation system" means a mechanical
ventilation system, including fans, controls and ducts, which
replaces, by direct or indirect means, air from rooms with
(u) "Zone" means a space or group of spaces within a
building with heating and cooling requirements sufficiently
similar so that comfort conditions can be maintained throughout
by a single controlling device.
§18-9E-4. Building official designated.
Every county board of education or public institution of
higher education for which a building is constructed under the
provisions of this article shall designate a person as the
building official for the project. It shall be the duty of the
building official to take steps necessary to ensure that the
building is planned and constructed in accordance with the
provisions of this article.
§18-9E-5. Alternative systems, materials, design, construction
The provisions of this article are not intended to prevent
the use of any material, method of construction, design or
ventilation system not specifically prescribed herein, provided
that such construction, design or ventilation system has been
approved by the building official.
The building official may approve any such alternative,
provided that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies
with the provisions of this article and that the material, method
or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the
equivalent of that prescribed in this article in suitability,
effectiveness, safety and indoor air quality.
§18-9E-6. Plans and specifications; enforcement and inspection.
(a) Prior to commencement of construction of any building or
additions subject to this article, plans and specifications
demonstrating compliance with this article shall be submitted to
the building official. The building official shall require that
plans and specifications be authenticated by an engineer,
architect, or other qualified professional licensed to practice
in this state. The plans and specifications shall show in
sufficient detail pertinent data and features of the materials,
equipment and systems as herein governed, including, but not
limited to: Design criteria, size and type of apparatus and
equipment, systems and equipment controls, provisions for
combustion air to fuel burning appliances, and other pertinent
data to indicate conformance with the requirements of this
The plans and specifications as well as other documents
related to construction covered by this article which are not specifically excepted shall be subject to public inspection
pursuant to article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code
relating to freedom of information.
(b) Pertinent data and features of the building and the
materials, equipment and systems as herein governed shall be
inspected by the building official.
No materials, equipment, systems or portions thereof, shall
be concealed without first obtaining approval from the building
Whenever there is insufficient evidence of compliance with
any of the provisions in this article or evidence that any
material or construction does not conform to the requirements of
this article, the building official shall require tests to be
performed to determine if compliance requirements have been met.
Tests shall be conducted at no expense to the county board of
education or the public institution of higher education.
Test methods shall be conducted in accordance with
recognized test standards. If there are no recognized or
accepted procedures or methods for the proposed test, the
building official shall determine test procedures.
All materials, equipment and systems herein governed shall
be inspected and approved before the building may be considered
ready for occupancy.
§18-9E-7. Minimum ventilation criteria.
Each building constructed pursuant to the provisions of this
article shall be equipped with source-specific and whole-building
ventilation systems designed and installed to satisfy the
minimum ventilation rates for human occupants intended to avoid
adverse health effects as set out in this article.
The outdoor air quantities specified in Table 1 shall be
used as the minimum for design and normal operation. Where a
mechanical ventilation system is installed, the mechanical
ventilation system shall be capable of supplying ventilation air
to each zone with the minimum outdoor air quantities specified in
Table 1 based upon the greater of the occupant densities in that
Table or the design occupant density. The outdoor air shall be
diverted by ducts directly to every air handling unit in each
zone not provided with a sufficient operable area for natural
The building official shall cause flow testing to be
conducted to verify that the mechanical systems satisfy the
requirements of this section prior to building occupancy. At
least ten percent of all the rooms of a new building shall be
flow tested. If these tests comply with the ventilation rates
set out in this article no more flow testing will be required
except at the discretion of the building inspector to address specifically identified concerns. If the flow tests indicate
that the average results of the rooms tested fail to meet
required ventilation rates corrective measures shall be
implemented to meet ventilation standards prior to the building
being occupied. After completion of construction the building
may not be occupied for two weeks during which time the HVAC
system shall operate at least eight hours in each twenty-four
hour period to allow air contaminants released from building
materials to be expelled from the building.
OUTDOOR AIR REQUIREMENTS
FOR VENTILATION* FOR EDUCATION FACILITIES
Estimated Maximum**Outdoor Air
ApplicationP/1000 ft or 100 mcfm/person
Locker rooms 0.50 cfm/ft.sq.
and date entry areas6020
Restrooms50 cfm/urinal or
*Derived from ASHRAE Standard 62-1989.
**Net occupiable space.
***Special contamination control systems may be
required for processes or functions including
laboratory animal occupancy.
****Some office equipment may require local exhaust.
*****Additional air flow may be needed to provide make-up
air for hood exhaust(s). The sum of the outdoor air and transfer air of acceptable quality from adjacent spaces shall be sufficient to provide an exhaust rateof not less than 1.5 cfm/ft.sq.
§18-9E-8. Radon resistive construction standards.
Every building planned, designed and constructed pursuant to
the provisions of this article shall incorporate radon prevention
techniques in construction, including, but not limited to, the
installation of an active soil depressurization system (ASD),
pressurization of the building through the use of the HVAC system
and the sealing of all major entry routes. The design
construction and operation of these radon prevention techniques
shall be in conformity with the specifications recommended by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in chapter
two of the EPA publication, "Radon Prevention in the Design and
Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings" document
number EPA 625-R-92-016 and should include a continuously
operating suction fan installed on the radon vent pipe.
Concrete block walls connected to below grade areas shall be
considered unsealed surfaces. All openings in concrete block
walls that will not remain accessible upon completion of the
building shall be sealed at both vertical and horizontal
surfaces, in order to create a continuous air barrier to limit
the transport of soil gas into the indoor air.
§18-9E-9. Indoor air quality (IAQ) compliance program.
(a) Every employer as defined in section three of this article shall establish a written indoor air quality (IAQ)
program no later than the first day of September, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-seven. The employer shall identify a
designated person who is given the responsibility to ensure
implementation of the IAQ compliance program. Written plans for
compliance programs shall include at least the following:
(1) A written description in narrative form, of the facility
(2) Single-line schematics or "as built" construction
documents which locate major building system equipment and the
areas that are served thereby;
(3) Information relative to the daily operation and
management of the building systems, which shall include at a
minimum, a description of normal operating procedures, special
procedures such as seasonal start-ups and shutdowns, and a list
of operating performance criteria, including, but not limited to,
minimum outside air ventilation rates, potable hot water storage
and delivery temperatures range of space relative humidities, and
any space pressurization requirements;
(4) A general description of the building and its function,
including, but not limited to, school and work activities,
numbers of students and employees usually occupying the building,
hours of operation, evening and weekend use and known air contaminants released in the building;
(5) A written maintenance program for the maintenance of
building systems which shall be preventive in scope and which
reflects equipment manufacturer's recommendations as determined
by the building systems maintenance industry. At a minimum, the
maintenance program shall describe the equipment to be
maintained, and establish maintenance procedures and frequencies
of performance; and
(6) A checklist for the visual inspection of building
(b) The employer shall also retain additional information,
if available, to assist in potential indoor air quality
evaluations. Such information shall include: "As built"
construction documents; HVAC reports for system commissioning,
testing, adjusting and balancing; operation and maintenance
manuals; and operator training materials.
(c) The employer shall establish a written record of
complaints, signs or symptoms that may be related to building-
related illness of students or employees. The record shall
include, at a minimum, information on the nature of the illness
reported; numbers of students and employees affected; the date of
complaints; and remedial action, if any, taken to correct the
source of the problem.
§18-9E-10. Compliance program implementation.
Employers shall assure compliance with the provisions of
this article and the IAQ program by implementing at a minimum,
the following actions:
(a) Maintain and operate the HVAC and building systems to
assure that such systems operate up to original design
specification and continue to provide, at a minimum, an outside
air ventilation rate, based on actual occupancy required by
section seven of this article, if construction began on or after
the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven or,
if required by the building code, mechanical code, or ventilation
code applicable at the time the facility was constructed,
renovated or remodeled, whichever is most recent, if the building
was constructed prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine
(b) Conduct building systems inspections and maintenance;
(c) Assure that the HVAC system is operating during all
hours in which school is in session or employees are working,
except during emergency HVAC repairs and during scheduled HVAC
(d) Implement the use of general or local exhaust
ventilation where custodial and maintenance activities involve
use of equipment or products that could reasonably be expected to result in hazardous chemical or particulate exposure to students
or employees in other areas of the building or facility;
(e) Maintain relative humidity below sixty percent in
buildings with mechanical cooling systems;
(f) Monitor carbon dioxide levels when routine maintenance
is done. When the carbon dioxide level exceeds 800 ppm, the
employer shall check to make sure the HVAC system is operating
properly. The employer shall take necessary steps to correct
deficiencies and reduce the carbon dioxide level to 800 ppm or
(g) If the faculty senate or the local school improvement
council demonstrates that at least twenty percent of the students
or employees of the building have complained of symptoms
consistent with building-related illness within the preceding
twelve months, either of these bodies may request that carbon
dioxide tests be conducted. Upon receipt of a request for such
tests, the employer shall conduct testing within thirty days.
The results of any testing shall be provided to the requesting
body. If the test results do not meet the standards set out in
this subsection the employer shall take necessary steps to reduce
the carbon dioxide level to 800 ppm or less;
(h) Assure that buildings without mechanical ventilation are
maintained so that windows, doors, vents, stacks and other portals designed or used for natural ventilation are in operable
condition and unobstructed;
(i) Take such remedial measures as the evaluation shows to
(j) Assure that mechanical equipment rooms and any nonducted
air plentims or chases that transport air are maintained in a
clean condition and hazardous substances are properly stored to
(k) Assure that inspections and maintenance of building
systems are performed by or under the supervision of the
(l) Establish a written record of building system
inspections and maintenance required to be performed under this
(m) Assure that employees performing work on building
systems are provided with and use appropriate personal protective
equipment as prescribed in 29 CFR part 1926, subpart E, personal
protective and lifesaving equipment; 29 CFR part 1926.52,
occupational noise exposure; 29 CFR part 1910, subpart 1,
personal protective equipment; and 29 CFR part 1910.95,
occupational noise exposure.
(n) Evaluate the need to perform alterations of the building
systems to meet the minimum requirements specified in this article in response to student or employee complaints of
(o) Test all school buildings for radon concentrations
within six months of the effective date of this article. If a
school has been tested within ten years prior to the effective
date of this article, the results from the previous test shall
satisfy these requirements after the effective date of this
article. If radon tests reveal concentrations of four pCi/L or
greater a second test shall be conducted within thirty days. If
the results remain above four pCi/L, the employer shall take
appropriate mitigation measures to bring the radon concentration
to four pCi/L or lower within two years of receipt of the test
§18-9E-11. Reduction of indoor air contaminants.
(a) The employer shall implement measures such as the
relocation of air intakes and other pathways of building entry,
where necessary, to restrict the entry of outdoor air
contaminants such as vehicle exhaust fumes, into the building.
(b) When general ventilation is inadequate to control air
contaminants emitted from point sources within the building rooms
or zones, the employer shall implement other control measures
such as local source capture exhaust ventilation or substitution.
§18-9E-12. Reduction of microbial contamination.
(a) The employer shall control microbial contamination in
the building by routinely inspecting for, and promptly repairing,
water leaks that can promote growth of biological agents;
(b) The employer shall control microbiological
contamination in the building by promptly drying, replacing,
removing or cleaning damp or wet materials.
(c) The employer shall take measures to remove visible
microbiological contamination in ductwork, humidifiers, other
HVAC and building system components or on building surfaces when
found during regular or emergency maintenance activities or
during visual inspection.
§18-9E-13. Maintaining air quality during renovation and
(a) During renovation and remodeling, the employer shall
ensure that work procedures and appropriate controls are utilized
to minimize degradation of the indoor air quality for students
and employees in other areas of the building. Before remodeling
or renovations are begun, the employer shall meet with the
contractor or individuals performing the work and shall develop
and implement a work plan designed to minimize entry of air
contaminants to other areas of the building during and after
performance of the work. When renovation or remodeling occurs
that makes use of paints, varnishes, stains or other similar substances which are not water based and which release air
contaminants, the work shall be performed at times when the
students are not in attendance and employees other than
maintenance and custodial personnel are not required to work. To
the extent that it is practicable, all other renovation and
remodeling shall be performed at such times.
(b) When structural panel components including softwood
plywood, particle board, wafer board and oriented strand board
are utilized in the construction, renovation or remodeling of a
building, they shall be identified as "Exposure 1", "Exterior" or
(c) Any carpet installed during construction, renovation or
remodeling of a building must be labeled as "low emission"
§18-9E-14. Employee information and training.
The employer shall provide training for maintenance,
custodial and other employees involved in building system
operation and maintenance which shall include at least the
(a) Training in the use of personal protective equipment
needed in operating and maintaining building systems;
(b) Training on how to maintain adequate ventilation of air
contaminants generated during building cleaning and maintenance;
(c) Training of maintenance and custodial personnel on how
to minimize adverse effects on indoor air quality during the use
and disposal of chemicals and other agents.
§18-9E-15. Record keeping: Maintenance records; IAQ compliance
program; building related complaints.
(a) The employer shall maintain inspection and maintenance
records required to be established under section ten of this
article, which shall include the specific remedial, maintenance
or other actions taken, the name of any individuals performing
work, and the date of the inspection, maintenance or other
(b) The employer shall maintain the written compliance
program and plan required to be established under section nine of
(c) The employer shall maintain a record of employee
complaints of signs or symptoms that may be associated with
building-related illness required to be established under section
nine, subsection (c) of this article. Complaints shall be
promptly transmitted to the designated person for resolution.
(d) The employer shall retain records required to be
maintained under this section for at least ten years.
(e) Any records required to be maintained pursuant to the
provisions of this article shall be subject to requests made for the release of records authorized by article one, chapter twenty- nine-b of this code relating to freedom of information. Where
the request is made for reports of complaints by students or
employees made pursuant to subsection (c) section nine of this
article, the employer shall make reasonable efforts to conceal
identifying information of the persons making the complaint
before releasing the reports.
-9E-16. Violations and remedies.
It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with
mandatory provisions of this article. The circuit court of the
county in which the building is located shall have jurisdiction
to grant injunctive and declaratory relief against any person in
violation of this article. The court may also award attorney
fees and court costs to any person who successfully brings suit
seeking enforcement of the provisions of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to address the problem of
poor indoor air quality in West Virginia schools. The bill
establishes ventilation standards and requires radon resistance
systems for all new school building construction and while
requiring maintenance and testing of new and existing school
buildings. These provisions provide for measures designed to
help protect the health and safety of students and school
employees by reducing or eliminating airborne pollutants.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.