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EPA Honors Broward County School Board for Implementing Exemplary Indoor Air Quality Program
Release Date: 01/13/2006
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421
(Atlanta, GA, January 13, 2006) --- The School Board of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is among six schools and districts selected to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Excellence Award. This award honors schools and school districts that have exemplary Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) programs in their schools ranging from designing a new school building free of toxins and other hazards to developing district-wide policies for continuous training and maintenance. The award was presented today at EPA’s 6th Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, D.C.
In 2002, the School Board of Broward County (6th largest county in the nation) faced a difficult situation when seven similarly designed elementary schools encountered moisture problems. The District developed an integrated approach to managing IAQ, utilizing the IAQ TfS Program. Since then, Broward County has steadily improved their IAQ management voluntary program and implemented the program in 88 schools. This year, the program will impact 108 schools. To further support implementation, Broward County Public Schools developed an IAQ TfS Web site that contains walk-through assessment data on schools, IAQ survey tools, IAQ assessment information, Radon testing, schedules for pesticide application, IAQ facility projects by school, and in-progress work orders. These tools provide community stakeholders unparalleled access to IAQ programs at each school, as well as excellent records of complaints and repairs. The data collected from the Web site also has led the District to take proactive steps to improve the operation of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.
The IAQ TfS Excellence Award is EPA's most prestigious IAQ award, presented only to schools and school districts with exemplary IAQ programs and that have shown exceptional commitment to good IAQ in schools. Recipients of the Excellence Awards are selected through a highly competitive process. Applications are judged on demonstrated communications and outreach efforts (to school occupants, parents, community, and others), top-level commitment and support, and a comprehensive, sustainable IAQ program consistent with IAQ TfS.
Since the creation of the IAQ TfS program, more than 26,000 schools across the country have adopted IAQ management programs consistent with EPA’s guidance. The program teaches schools how to identify, resolve, and prevent IAQ problems through low and no-cost measures. The program explains IAQ management, facility planning and maintenance, financing, communications, and emergency response. An IAQ Tools for Schools Kit also includes easy-to-use checklists for all school personnel, sample management plans, and a unique indoor air problem solving wheel.
Approximately 500 local school officials from across the country attended this year’s Symposium to learn how to develop plans for identifying and resolving indoor environmental problems in their schools, and how improvements to air quality can help protect student health. For more information about EPA’s IAQ TfS Program, please visit www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.