Introduced by Senator Condos of Chittenden District
Subject: Health; occupational health; indoor air quality
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish an indoor air quality program in the department of health to investigate and help remediate indoor air pollution in state buildings.
AN ACT RELATING TO INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN STATE BUILDINGS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. FINDINGS
The general assembly finds that:
(1) Poor indoor air quality has emerged as one of the nation’s leading environmental problems.
(2) Exposure to indoor air contamination occurs in workplaces, schools, public buildings, residences, and transportation vehicles.
(3) Indoor air pollution can result from many causes, including toxic fumes from synthetic materials in tightly secured buildings, inadequate ventilation, use of adhesives, flooring, and improper maintenance of heating and air conditioning equipment and systems.
(4) Working Vermonters spend on average up to 30 percent of their day in public buildings, and as a result have significant potential for exposure to contaminants in indoor air.
(5) Indoor air pollution can plague buildings and, if ignored, leave employees who work in polluted air at risk for cancer, respiratory illness, multiple chemical sensitivities, eye and skin irritation, and debilitating infirmities.
(6) Indoor air pollution is estimated to cause significant increases in medical costs and declines in work productivity.
(7) Requiring the Vermont department of health to establish an indoor air quality program for the investigation of complaints of poor indoor air quality in public buildings will significantly improve the health and well-being of the people of Vermont.
Sec. 2. 18 V.S.A. § 1429 is added to read:
§ 1429. INDOOR AIR QUALITY PROGRAM
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Air contaminant” means a gaseous, liquid, semi-solid, or solid substance, or combination of substances in a form transported by or in air and capable of being detrimental to human health.
(2) “Indoor air pollution” means the presence, in an indoor environment, of one or more air contaminants in sufficient concentration and of sufficient duration to be capable of causing adverse effects on human health.
(3) “State buildings” means all state- owned or -leased buildings, structures, and enclosed appurtenances.
(b) There is established an indoor air quality program in the department of health. Under this program, the commissioner:
(1) Shall investigate complaints of indoor air pollution in state buildings and, upon request of a state employee, inspect a state building for the presence of air contaminants in indoor air;
(2) Shall provide informational and educational material regarding indoor air pollution to the managers, owners, and occupants of state buildings, and may assist any manager, owner, or occupant of a state building in identifying, assessing, and correcting indoor air pollution problems;
(3) May establish and coordinate an indoor air quality assessment network of state agencies and state buildings’ managers to identify, assess, and correct indoor air pollution problems; and
(4) May adopt rules in accordance with chapter 25 of Title 3 to effectuate the purposes of this section.
Sec. 3. APPROPRIATION
The amount of $50,000.00 is appropriated to the department of health to aid in the establishment of the indoor air quality program required by Sec. 2 of this act.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street