The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed changes to its Part 58 Environmental Reviews, which would require radon testing in certain cases. The proposed changes would affect HUD-funded projects, which include affordable housing developments and public facilities such as community centers and schools.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally occurring in soil and rock. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for more than 21,000 deaths in the United States each year. Radon can enter buildings through cracks in the foundation or other openings, and once inside, it can accumulate to dangerous levels.
The proposed changes to the Part 58 Environmental Reviews would require radon testing for all new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects that receive HUD funding. In addition, the changes would require testing in certain circumstances for existing buildings that receive HUD funding, such as if the building is in a high-risk area for radon or if there have been reports of high levels of radon in the area.
If elevated levels of radon are detected, the proposed changes would require mitigation measures to be implemented to reduce exposure to occupants. Mitigation measures may include sealing cracks and openings in the building's foundation or installing a ventilation system to vent the radon gas out of the building.
The proposed changes to the Part 58 Environmental Reviews are a step in the right direction toward addressing the public health risks associated with radon exposure. By requiring radon testing in certain circumstances, HUD-funded projects can take steps to reduce the risks of exposure to this dangerous gas.
In addition, the proposed changes can also help to increase awareness of the risks associated with radon exposure. By requiring radon testing, building owners and occupants can become more educated about the risks of radon exposure and take steps to reduce their exposure.
Overall, the proposed changes to the Part 58 Environmental Reviews are a positive development in the efforts to reduce the risks of radon exposure in HUD-funded projects. It is important that all building owners and occupants take steps to reduce their exposure to radon, and the proposed changes are an important step toward achieving this goal.
The prospered changes are open for public comment until April 14th 2023 and can be viewed here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/HUD-2023-0010-0001