Go Get Some Fresh Air – EPA Announces “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge” to Help Protect Public Health

ArentFox Schiff
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Whether we like it or not, COVID-19 continues to pose challenges for everyone. One way to help mitigate the risk of contracting the virus is getting fresh air.

As part of President Biden’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge,” providing a detailed checklist of options building owners and operators can use to reduce risks to building occupants from airborne viruses and contaminants indoors.

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge can be found here. Actions outlined in the Challenge include:

  • Creating a clean indoor air action plan;
  • Optimizing fair ventilation;
  • Enhancing air filtration and cleaning; and
  • Conducting additional community engagement and education.

With the Challenge, the Biden Administration makes clear that buildings themselves can serve to protect human health. The Challenge provides a list of options which can be tailored to reduce – not eliminate – risk in indoor air. Building owners are directed to evaluate how clean indoor air enters individual structures. Owners should work with HVAC and other professionals to assess building equipment and airflow and understand how this it can be used to mitigate health risks present in indoor air. More specific EPA guidance documents for coronavirus in indoor air are available here.

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