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Radon

Learn More about EPA’s Plans to Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations

Because of the substantial risk due to radon, a radioactive pollutant, it is critical for radon service providers to have the necessary skills to provide quality services, ensure consumer protection and protect public health. The Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA) explicitly grants the EPA the broad authority to operate a “voluntary proficiency program for rating the effectiveness of radon measurement devices and methods, the effectiveness of radon mitigation devices and methods, and the effectiveness of private firms and individuals offering radon-related architecture, design, engineering, measurement, and mitigation services.”

EPA employs several activities to operate a voluntary proficiency program under this authority including:

  • maintaining a national radon NIST-traceable reference capability and conducting intercomparisons with other radon labs.
  • completing a device accuracy study and related publications.
  • supporting and participating in the development of voluntary consensus standards that establish standards of practice for a wide array of radon activities in the marketplace, including testing and mitigation.
  • serving on the Executive Stakeholders Committee for standards development strategies.
  • requiring states that receive radon grants to refer the public only to radon service providers credentialed either through an existing state-run process (i.e., state license or certification) or who have been credentialed only by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) and/or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).

The EPA has periodically evaluated the effectiveness of its oversight of provider proficiency within the context of current market demands for radon services. In response to such an evaluation, and to remain consistent with the federal government’s support of voluntary consensus standards as evidenced by OMB Circular A-119 and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, the EPA is updating the exercise of its authority to operate a voluntary radon proficiency program. As proposed in the August 2017 Federal Register notice, the EPA is seeking to establish voluntary criteria for accrediting radon professional credentialing organizations to an international standard for bodies operating certification of persons.

These criteria will establish an ongoing and open evaluation process for organizations wanting to credential radon service providers. While EPA cannot require that radon credentialing bodies take any particular action in order to conduct business, EPA does have authority to require that states receiving indoor radon grants list only providers who meet certain standards of competence.

The Agency anticipates that it will take two to three years to establish a process and ensure ample opportunities for stakeholder involvement. This is a non-regulatory proposal designed to benefit state radon programs, small business and consumers.

To view the Federal Register notice and comments received, visit the Agency’s electronic docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0430) on the Federal eRulemaking Portal:  https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0430

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