IAQA’s Government Affairs Committee is dedicated to serving IAQA’s members and the public by providing a proactive and involved outreach effort to legislators and regulators at all levels of government. Their goal is to be responsive to members who have questions and interest in any legislation that affects air quality in the built environment, as well as to help build relationships with legislators so that our public servants can obtain the expertise of IAQA members.

District of Columbia: Mold Licensing Update

The District of Columbia has opened a public comment period on its proposed mold licensing regulations, titled "District of Columbia Mold Assessment and Remediation Licensure Regulations." You can find related documents here.

In mid-October, the IAQA Gov't Affairs Committee reached out to members in D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to find out what impact surrounding remediators thought the changes could have, by way of a six-question survey. The IAQA is still collecting responses, and hopes to put together a statement on the IAQA's position to submit to lawmakers soon. Anyone not contacted by the IAQA, but who wishes to share their thoughts on the proposed regulations is encouraged to reach out to the IAQA as soon as possible.

New York State: Mold Licensing Update

As noted in the update last month, the priority for the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) is to get applications from training providers for approval to teach mold in New York State. With a deadline of Jan. 1, 2016 for all remediation and assessment practitioners in New York to be licensed, approval is being expedited by the agency as much as possible.  

On the last day of September, it was announced that NYSDOL had approved the first training provider for agency-approved courses for licensure as a mold assessor, mold remediation contractor, and mold abatement workers. As of this writing in late October, the website for the NYSDOL now lists five approved training providers for the mold assessor and mold remediator, respectively. There are four approved providers for the mold abatement worker course.

Several of the NYSDOL-approved training companies are affiliated with IAQA as members, and/or as member companies involved with existing IAQA education programs. IAQA members seeking certification for mold in New York can therefore direct their training and tuition in the spirit of the "Members Doing Business with Members initiative."

IAQA continues to work with NYSDOL to obtain clarifications as to many still unanswered questions, including complications for instructors from outside New York, and if approval-eligible training can be conducted outside of the state. 

Virginia: Administrative Rules on Asbestos & Lead-Based Paint

Virginia is currently reviewing existing regulations on asbestos and lead-based paint to determine whether several administrative rules on these hazards should be repealed, amended, or retained in their current forms. You can see the latest progress here.

This may be a routine “sunset” review evaluation process pursuant to executive order in Virginia to reduce regulation. However, the general notices can be interpreted that there is a possibility of repeal, amendment or retention of both asbestos and lead licensing.

IAQA will engage the Virginia Board for Asbestos, Lead and Home Inspectors to gather more information regarding the impetus for this regulatory action, the probability of change, and the opportunity for IAQA to contribute to this process on behalf of our members.  The deadline for public comment is Nov. 9 and can be emailed to alhi@dpor.virginia.gov.  

Minnesota: Administrative Rules on Radon

Minnesota is weighing reform of administrative rules concerning the mitigation of radon, including licensing requirements.

The IAQA reached out to the president of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technicians (AARST), Shawn Price, for more information. He said the view of AARST is the rules being written are thus far based on existing regulatory language in Illinois and Ohio – which AARST considers the best current model in radon public policy on these issues.The AARST pointed out Minnesota could become the 16th state with radon regulation/legislation, and noted rules vary greatly in detail and scope from state to state.  

Government Affairs is optimistically seeking a discussion opportunity with the Minnesota Department of Health to get direct contact with those composing the potential new licensing rules. 

New Hampshire: Mold Licensing for Assessors

This month, the New Hampshire Business Review published an article on mold licensing in the state entitled, NH’s new mold bill: What you need to know."

Authored by IAQA members Guy Sylvester and Jean Gennaro, this article provides the background on the New Hampshire Mold Task Force, and the collaboration with the New Hampshire chapters of both the American Lung Association and the IAQA in Manchester. There are also concise FAQs for those interested in becoming certified before the legislation goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Other Updates

The IAQA Gov't Affairs Committee continues to work on initiatives in California, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oregon, as well as on the Legionella concerns in New York as reported last month. Look for future updates right here on R&R's website.

New IAQA Government Affairs Committee imembers:

  • Jennifer Salvilla, ServPro Industries, Inc., Gallatin, Tenn.: Jennifer is working on development of IAQA’s concept for an Outstanding Advocate Award specific to Government Affairs including legislative and regulatory activity.  Jennifer is also taking point on the development of the IAQA Government Affairs session coming this January at the IAQA national meeting in Orlando. 

  • Tony Gabriele, VOC Instrumentation, Libertyville, Ill.: Tony is looking further into Minnesota’s radon rules as noted above.  

  • Fred Schauf, Spectrum Environmental Associates, Schenectady, NY: Fred has been working hard on the New York State mold licensing regulations as a local advocate on the ground in Albany. Fred also has the honor of being our first special advisor to matriculate to membership on the full government affairs committee, and he will now assume the role of coordinator for the mold licensing initiative in New York State.

  • Joe Footlik, Inspectional Services Department, Village of Glenview, Ill.: Joe Footlik is the first member of the revived government affairs committee to actually be in government!  His direct experience as a regulator is welcomed, as are his decades as a homebuilder.  

The IAQA Government Affairs Committee’s mission is more than only observing government activity that affects our members and the public. IAQA will take an active advocacy position when there is a consensus among our members. All IAQA members are welcome to join the committee, or to participate as special advisors on any particular government initiative. If you aren’t a member of IAQA, join today!

If you want to contribute, please join us! We want to hear from you: cwds@fiberlock.com