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H.361

Introduced by   Representatives Ancel of Calais, Brooks of Montpelier, Emmons of Springfield, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Klein of East Montpelier and Milkey of Brattleboro

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  State buildings; chemical sensitivities

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a committee to develop indoor air quality standards for state buildings and develop an emergency state protocol to respond to issues of chemical sensitivities to indoor air quality.

AN ACT RELATING TO CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES IN STATE BUILDINGS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  29 V.S.A. chapter 7A is added to read:

Chapter 7A.  CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES IN STATE

BUILDINGS

§ 201.  CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES IN STATE BUILDINGS

            COMMITTEE; CREATION

(a)  A committee on chemical sensitivity in state buildings is created.  The committee shall consist of the following members:  the commissioners or their designees of the departments of buildings and general services, labor and industry, and health; one representative from the Vermont State Employees’ Association appointed by the head of the association; two health practitioners with experience in multiple chemical sensitivities appointed by the governor; three public members, two of whom have been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities, appointed by the governor; one person expert in the field of indoor air quality, appointed by the governor; one member of the house committee on institutions, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and one member of the senate committee on institutions, appointed by the committee on committees.

(b)  Each member shall serve at the pleasure of his or her appointing authority.  Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406.

(c)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall convene the first meeting of the committee, which shall elect a chair from among its members.  Thereafter, officers shall be elected annually.

(d)  The agencies of state government represented on the committee shall provide administrative support for the committee.

§ 202.  CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES IN STATE BUILDINGS

            COMMITTEE; FUNCTIONS

(a)  The committee shall examine factors relating to chemical sensitivities and exposure to chemicals, bacteria, and mold in state buildings.  This examination shall include:  least toxic and most economical floor materials, furnishings, office equipment, and lighting; office supplies and cleaning materials; optimum methods of ventilation, including the possibility of windows that open; best current research on volatile organic chemicals, particulates, and synergistic effects; and acceptable indoor air quality efforts of other states and countries.

(b)  By July 1, 2005, the committee shall develop and implement an emergency state protocol, including a state hotline, to respond to questions or requests arising from state employees and others concerning potential direct health or safety risks from volatile organic chemicals, bacteria or mold in state buildings.

(c)  The committee shall:

(1)  create a registry of persons in the state diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities, which registry shall not be accessible to the public;

(2)  develop policies to eliminate or minimize chemical and environmental exposures in state buildings, whether owned or leased by the state;

(3)  recommend designs and construction standards and materials necessary to avoid exposure to chemicals, bacteria, and mold and achieve acceptable indoor air quality; and

(4)  consider whether carpeting can safely be used in state buildings.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us