Portland Public Schools is nearly finished with initial radon testing of all occupied ground floor rooms in the district, as described in the PPS 2016/2017 annual radon plan and in accordance with the Oregon Health Authority protocol titled “Testing for Elevated Radon in Oregon Schools - A Protocol and Plan”. A spreadsheet of results are on the radon page of the PPS Healthy and Safe Schools web page. See the links titled “Initial Short Term Radon Test Results” and “What do radon test results mean”?.
The deadline for Oregon school districts to complete initial radon testing is January 1, 2021. By testing well in advance of the deadline, knowledge is available now that most rooms in PPS schools are below 4 picocuries per liter. Likewise, learning which rooms require long term testing (4-8 picocuries per liter), or radon mitigation systems, is being discovered now and follow-up work is in progress. Portland Public Schools is contracted with PBS Engineering and Environmental and Cascade Radon for analyzing and mitigating radon in the schools.
Summary of radon mitigation work in progress:
- Skyline: A temporary radon mitigation system was installed in room 105A on Monday 2/21/17. Current follow-up testing will be completed by Thursday March 9th and the results report will be posted. The follow-up testing now in progress is confirming the mitigation system is effective. Staff will tentatively move back into rooms 105A and 105B no earlier than Friday March 10th. Facilities and Asset Management assigned a project manager for the permanent mitigation system.
- Ockley Green: A temporary radon mitigation system for the gym and adjacent rooms was installed on Thursday 2/23/17 in a storage room off the boys locker room. Current follow-up testing will be completed by Thursday March 9th and the results report will be posted. The follow-up testing now in progress is confirming the mitigation system is effective. Physical education activities have been temporarily moved to the auditorium and three offices adjacent the gym were relocated to a large common room behind the main office. PE activities will tentatively move back into the gym and adjacent areas no earlier than Friday March 10th. The dance room remains in use and is under long-term testing. However, we expect test results to indicate the new mitigation system has lowered radon levels to below 4 picocuries per liter in all areas of the gym, gym offices, locker rooms, and dance room. Facilities and Asset Management assigned a project manager for the permanent mitigation system.
- Jefferson: Follow-up testing was conducted in rooms A36 and A75 tests after HVAC system adjustments. The results indicated radon levels both below, and slightly above, 4 picocuries per liter. The HVAC adjustments will allow Jefferson rooms to be used while a temporary mitigation system is designed.
- Peninsula: Elevated radon levels in the boiler room are being evaluated further. There is no occupancy in the room.
- Lent: Temporary radon mitigation systems are operating in the main building and the music building. Both of these systems are successful and constructions plans are being finalized for the permanent systems.
- Meek: An additional slab opening had to be added to the temporary radon mitigation system as it was being evaluated for effectiveness. Constructions plans are being finalized for the permanent system.
Following the Oregon Health Authority protocol, numerous long-term test kits are currently deployed in locations that initially tested between 4 – 8 picocuries per liter. Those kits will be retrieved as the winter heating season ends around early April and the results report will be posted. These locations define the next areas of radon work at PPS beyond initial short-term testing. The PPS 2017/2018 annual radon plan will be published by September 1, 2017 as required by the Oregon Health Authority. Future radon testing is required in ten-year intervals for locations with low results from this year’s testing. For locations with mitigation systems installed, future testing is required at five-year intervals.
We have consulted with the Oregon Health Authority for guidance on immediate public health risks. While long-term exposure to radon presents a health risk, there are no imminent short-term health risks. You can find more information on the OHA website and the radon section of the PPS Healthy and Safe Schools web page
If you have any questions about testing and plans moving forward please direct them to email@example.com.
Director, Risk Management
Dear Ockley Green Families,
As we notified you last week, secondary testing identified that radon levels in the gym at Ockley Green exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Oregon Health Authority’s action levels. Immediate adjustments were made to the ventilation system and test equipment ran over the weekend which reported continued elevated levels (see report below).
Dear Jefferson, Peninsula and Skyline Families,
As we notified you last week, secondary testing identified that radon levels in some rooms in your buildings exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Oregon Health Authority’s action levels. Immediate adjustments were made to the ventilation system and test equipment ran over the weekend which reported slightly lower or unchanged levels (see report below), requiring continued mitigation.