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EPA honors Salt Lake City School District with excellence award

Release Date: 10/27/2003
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      Denver -- The Salt Lake City School District is among 16 schools and districts selected to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools 2003 Excellence Award. This prestigious award recognizes exemplary indoor air quality programs and commitment to provide a healthy learning environment for students and staff.
Steve Johnson, Acting Deputy Administrator U.S. EPA, presented the award to Gregg Smith, Director of Buildings and Grounds for the Salt Lake City School District, during the 4th Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, D.C., Oct. 27.

Smith, a professional engineer, was instrumental in bringing the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program to the district. He said he has always been aware of indoor air problems and wants to make sure the air in the district's schools is "as clean as it can be for our kids."

“We were very pleased to receive the excellence award and a bit surprised at the same time,” Smith said. “Our department is committed to the Tools for Schools program and by working together with staff, teachers, principals, and board members we’ve made improving the indoor air quality of our schools one of our highest priorities.”

The Salt Lake City School District maintains high standards of indoor air quality through an extremely thorough set of policies and a "keep it simple" proactive plan. The district has implemented guidelines and policies to ensure proper maintenance of mechanical systems and school facilities. Careful logs of maintenance efforts are documented as part of the preventive maintenance policy. EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools has played a vital role in their program.

In 1995, EPA developed the voluntary Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Kit and Program in response to government studies highlighting the deteriorating conditions of the nation’s schools and the alarming rise in asthma cases, particularly among school- and preschool-age children. Asthma accounts for 14 million missed school days each year. Today, one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma. The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Kit is a flexible, comprehensive resource designed to help school staff identify, resolve, and prevent indoor air quality problems and is available to schools at no cost. Currently, an estimated 10,000 schools and school districts across the country are utilizing the Program.

“EPA is proud to recognize these select schools and districts for their efforts in implementing outstanding and effective indoor air quality programs,” said EPA Region 8 Administrator Robert Roberts. “They made the health of their students and staff a priority. Their programs serve as a model for other schools to address indoor air quality and provide a healthy and productive learning environment.”

Approximately 550 school representatives; health specialists; technical and environmental experts; Federal, state, and local government personnel; and nonprofit organization members participated in the 2003 Symposium. Participants discussed the basic indoor air quality problems found in schools as well as indoor air quality litigation, new school design, operations and maintenance, sustainability and school preparedness in the event of a terrorist threat.

For more information about the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, visit