The radon mitigation standards as set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are not something that they just made on their own. Many of the standards were based primarily on the Indoor Radon Abatement which was signed by President Ronal Reagan in October of 1988. Under the law, the long-term objective was to ensure that indoor areas would be free of radon contamination. This would not be limited to indoor areas but the ambient air outside the area was included. Under the original law, $45 million was to be allotted on a three-year period to make sure that any radon-related activities were funded both at the federal and state level. Below is a list of some of the provisions of this radon abatement bill.
CITIZEN’S GUIDE: The law requires the EPA to constantly update the Citizen’s Guide to Radon.
FEDERAL BUILDING STUDY: Under this law, all federal agencies and departments were required to determine if their buildings faced the risk of being contaminated by radon.
MODEL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS: The EPA is to develop different standards and techniques to help with the mitigation. This would also include standards for construction.
PROFICIENCY PROGRAMS: An amount of $1.5 million were to be given to companies in order for them to offer radon mitigation related services like testing and mitigation. Once the funding is over the programs would be refunded through a user-fee scheme.
REGIONAL TRAINING CENTERS: For a period of three years, from 1989 to 1991, $1 million annually would be granted by the EPA to different universities who would allow for the establishment of training centers.
STATE GRANTS: Under the law, $10 million per year, for three years, was to be allocated to the EPA and used as grant to help the different states conduct radon reduction programs. This includes different activities like conducting surveys, disseminating information to the public and conducting various demonstrations on the feasibility of mitigation systems.
STUDY OF SCHOOLS: $1 million was allocated to conduct a study on radon specifically on different schools in the country. If levels were found to be high, an additional half a million was given to help with the remediation efforts.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: In addition to helping states with their programs, the EPA was also given a budget of $3 million a year for three years to give the needed technical assistance to said states. Based on the law some of the activities include conducting trainings and seminars and conducting different radon surveys as well.
The list above is just a quick summary of the law but it gives a better and clearer idea of what the government is doing to ensure the safety and health of its citizens. The real question right now however is that it has been more than two decades since that law was enacted. How has the country fared when it comes to radon mitigation? Has the law done what it was actually meant to do? So what do we do? Do we repeal Radon Abatement Act and replace it or do we strengthen it more?