Elswick will be discussing West Virginia's indoor air quality program. West Virginia is among the first states to address the emerging issue of indoor air quality in schools.
Health professionals and school personnel from across Pennsylvania will be attending the week-long, biannual training event. Pennsylvania officials are hoping to learn more about West Virginia's innovative program and the legislation which initiated the efforts.
According to Elswick, Senator Jon Blair Hunter (Monongalia County) and Delegate Larry Williams (Preston County) introduced legislation in 1999 to address air quality issues in West Virginia’s schools.
“The indoor air quality legislation included input from everyone involved -- from teachers’ organizations, the state service personnel organization, the School Building Authority, county school systems, architectural and engineering firms, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and Department of Education staff,” Elswick noted. “I can’t recall a single dissenting voice when we drafted the policy. Everyone worked cooperatively to improve the health of students and employees in West Virginia’s schools.”
Elswick said that the legislation enabled the Department of Education to employ a first-rate team of experienced technicians who visit schools, identify indoor air quality problems and determine solutions.