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REGISTER for Upcoming Webinar: Provide Feedback on EPA's Long-term Strategy on Radon

REGISTER for Upcoming Webinar: Provide Feedback on EPA's Long-term Strategy on Radon

Please join us for a discussion on EPA’s Long-Term Strategy for radon. The National Radon Program is developing a long-term vision and strategy and we want to hear from you.

Register for a Webinar discussion on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, from 1-3 PM, EST.

The Webinar will include break-out discussions of strategies EPA might pursue under three possible program scenarios: (1) existing resources and authority; (2) increased resources and existing authority; and (3) increased resources and increased authority.

To participate, you must register in advance for one of the three Webinar break-out discussions. Please select one of the following discussion options:

  • Participate in a Webinar discussion focused on EPA’s Long-Term Strategy options assuming Existing Resources, and Existing Authority by registering at: http://tiny.cc/OBLK0
  • Participate in a Webinar discussion focused on EPA’s Long-Term Strategy options assuming Increased Resources, and Existing Authority by registering at: http://tiny.cc/A95z6
  • Participate in a Webinar discussion focused on EPA’s Long-Term Strategy options assuming Increased Resources, and Increased Authority by registering at: http://tiny.cc/1Fpwp

All attendees will be able to provide feedback on the Strategy during the Webinar.

The current DRAFT EPA Long-term Strategy document is available on RadonLeaders.org for download.

This preliminary draft is being made available to prompt discussion during the Webinar. Download the DRAFT Strategy. Please note you must be logged in to RadonLeaders.org to download the DRAFT Strategy.

Background on EPA's Long-term Strategy

EPA’s Long-term Strategy, currently under development, presumes a ‘partnership’ approach will continue between EPA, states, and industry; an approach embodied by the Radon Leaders Saving Lives Campaign, the Radon Stakeholder Dialogue, and RadonLeaders.org. However, this strategy will describe only what EPA plans to do, not what others in the radon community will do.

In June 2008, the U.S. EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) published its evaluation of the EPA Radon Program, conducted to determine how EPA measures indoor radon program results, and whether changes at the federal level could improve program effectiveness.
This report found that efforts to reduce exposure to radon through mitigation or building with radon-resistant new construction have not kept pace with new home construction, which has left EPA far from the statutory goal that indoor air should be as free of radon as outdoor air, as set by the 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA). The report recommends that EPA develop a strategy for achieving the long-term goal of the IRAA that uses the authorities and tools authorized by Congress or develop an alternative strategy. EPA plans to submit an alternative strategy by November 2009.

Review the OIG Report:
More Action Needed to Protect Public from Indoor Radon Risks (Report No. 08-P-0174)
At a Glance
Full Text

EPA’s Existing Program, Authority, and Resources
EPA’s Indoor Environments Division, within the Office of Air and Radiation, administers a voluntary Indoor Radon Program. The program promotes radon awareness, testing, the use of radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) techniques, and installation of radon mitigation systems in existing homes. The program promotes the use of mitigation systems when indoor radon levels are above EPA’s recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L of air.

The Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA) authorizes EPA to:

  • Issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out IRAA provisions;
  • Administer grants to help states establish radon programs, conduct radon surveys, develop public information on radon, and conduct demonstration and mitigation projects;
  • Report on studies of radon in federally-owned buildings;
  • Conduct a study of the extent of radon contamination in the nation's school buildings and report on the results of this study;
  • Create a Citizens Guide to Radon;
  • Develop model construction standards and techniques;
  • Establish regional radon training centers;
  • Provide technical assistance to states; and
  • Establish proficiency programs for firms offering radon-related services.

EPA’s existing resources for their Indoor Radon Program include appropriations for State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) and discretionary funds to conduct outreach and media campaigns. SIRG money is the states’ primary source of funding for radon programs. This money is allocated to the EPA regional offices for distribution to states and tribes. Authorized annual appropriations have been $10 million; however, actual appropriations have been less. Discretionary money of about $800K funds contractor support for national program activities. In staffing, EPA has six to seven full-time equivalent positions dedicated to indoor radon at the Headquarters level, and regional radon programs are typically administered by one to three staff, with most staff sharing time between radon and other indoor air issues (such as asthma or environmental tobacco smoke).

Please note that due to Federal Advisory Committee Act requirements, stakeholder input is being sought as individual feedback, not as a consensus view from stakeholder groups.