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EPA Recognizes Tennessee for Leadership in Implementing Indoor Air Quality Program for Schools

Thursday, December 07, 2006 | 06:00pm

AIR QUALITY PROGRAM EMPLOYEE DON RAY SINGLED OUT FOR EXCEPTIONAL EFFORT

Nashville, Tenn. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Tennessee for outstanding efforts in promoting EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, which helps school districts improve air quality in the learning environment of students.

The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Kit shows schools how to voluntarily carry out a practical plan of action to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.

Tennessee receives no funding from EPA for the Tools for Schools program, but the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Air Pollution Control has made a commitment to the program. Division employee Don Ray, who spearheads the state’s efforts to educate schools about air quality through workshops and outreach, will receive EPA’s Special Achievement Award for his exceptional individual efforts in assisting schools to improve air quality at an upcoming symposium.

“Your agency’s efforts to protect human health have contributed to over 800 schools implementing the Indoor Air Quality Tools for School Kit benefiting approximately 425,000 students and school staff,” wrote EPA Region 4 Administrator J.I. Palmer Jr. in a letter to Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke.

“While the Department of Environment and Conservation doesn’t have the authority to regulate indoor air quality, proactive educational efforts such as creating awareness of this voluntary program are a great way to make a positive impact on the environmental conditions in Tennessee’s classrooms,” said Senior Director for Air Resources Tracy Carter. “More importantly, I think this program directly supports our department mission to safeguard human health and the environment for all Tennesseans by protecting and improving the quality of our land, air and water for present and future generations.”

Good indoor air quality provides a healthy and productive environment for students, teachers and staff to assist a school in meeting its core mission of educating children. The Tools for Schools Kit helps address many indoor air quality issues using practical and often low-cost measures, such as unblocking ventilation supply vents to improve airflow.

The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Kit is co-sponsored by the National Parent Teacher Association, National Education Association, Association of School Business Officials, American Federation of Teachers, and the American Lung Association. Additional information about the kit is available on the EPA Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/toolkit.html.

In Tennessee, schools or school systems that would like information regarding workshops on implementing the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program may call 615-687-7050 or contact don.ray@state.tn.us.

For more information contact:

Dana Coleman
Office (615) 253-1916

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