Senator McKinney Praises Indoor Air Quality Legislation

September 17, 2002

State Senator John McKinney (R-Fairfield) today thanked fellow legislators and local advocates for their work in helping to pass legislation that will help improve the indoor air quality in schools. Senator McKinney, who took a lead role in crafting the legislation after the McKinley School in Fairfield was shut down in October of 2000 due to severe mold contamination, said that leaders of the legislature’s Environment Committee and local Canary Committee should be commended for their hard work and diligence.

“In 2002 we simply ran out of time and the bill wasn’t able to pass both chambers,” said Sen. McKinney. “Fortunately we had a chance this year to resuscitate the legislation, and with the help of Chairpersons of the Environment committee, Sen. Donald Williams (D-Thompson), and Rep. Patricia Widlitz (D-Guilford) and members of the community like Jo Ellen Lawson, head of the Canary Committee, we were able to help others recognize the importance that such a measure would have on the health and safety of our children.”

According to Sen. McKinney, this year’s legislation will:

  • Impose a more proper evaluation of school construction sites
  • Hold schools accountable for improvements in air quality
  • Enhance the training of maintenance staff for the proper care of ventilation systems
  • Institute regular inspections of equipment
  • Give broader authority to the Commissioner of Education to address indoor air quality emergencies in schools.

“As Ranking Member of the Environment Committee I have heard a lot of testimony the past several years about the poor air quality in schools throughout the state. From faulty ventilation equipment, inadequate maintenance and other structural failures, the situation became urgent,” said Sen. McKinney. “We need to be sure the air children and teachers are breathing while in school is safe.”