Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988

[EPA press release - October 28, 1988]

The President today signed into law the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 that establishes a long-term goal that indoor air be as free from radon as the ambient air outside buildings. The law authorizes $45 million over the next three years for radon-related activities at the state and federal levels.

"I am particularly pleased with the enactment of this radon law which builds on EPA's efforts over the last several years," said EPA Administrator Lee M. Thomas.

"The Act provides continued incentives for states to establish radon programs, conduct surveys and develop information on the public health hazard of radon. It also directs EPA to survey the nation's schools to determine levels of the radon hazard as well as undertake efforts to mitigate the problem," Thomas said.

A fact sheet on the Act is attached.

Federal Radon Legislation

The House and Senate recently passed the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988. The House voted on H.R. 2837 on October 5, 1988; the Senate acted three days later. The bill has been signed by the President. The Act establishes that the goal of the United States is that indoor air be as free from radon as the ambient air outside buildings. In addition, the bill authorizes:

  • STATE GRANTS: $10 million annually in each of three years (FY89-91) for EPA to administer grants to help States establish radon programs, conduct radon surveys, develop public information on radon, and conduct demonstration and mitigation projects.

  • TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: $3 million annually in FY 89, 90, and 91 for EPA to provide technical assistance to States. Among the activities specified in the bill, EPA would assist States with radon surveys, training seminars, mitigation projects, development of measurement and mitigation methods for non-residential child care facilities, and public information materials.

  • STUDY OF SCHOOLS: $1 million for EPA to conduct a study of radon in the nation's schools, and an additional $500,000 to undertake diagnostic and remedial efforts in schools.

  • PROFICIENCY PROGRAMS: $1.5 million for EPA to establish proficiency programs for firms offering radon-related services, including testing and mitigation. The program would later be funded through a user-fee system.

  • REGIONAL TRAINING CENTERS: $1 million a year in FY 89, 90, and 91 for EPA grants to universities to establish at least three regional radon training centers.

  • MODEL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS: EPA to develop model construction standards and techniques.

  • CITIZEN'S GUIDE: EPA to update the Citizen's Guide to Radon.

  • FEDERAL BUILDING STUDY: Requires all Federal Departments and Agencies to conduct studies of radon contamination in Federally-owned buildings located in high radon risk areas.