Air quality safeguards among proposed rules for schools

BILLINGS (AP) — Health officials have proposed a series of rules for Montana schools, including requiring districts to create plans for how they would make buildings airtight.

The Billings Gazette reported Monday that the state Department of Health and Human Services’ rule for sealing school buildings from the outside air aims to protect against wildfire smoke and other air hazards.

The proposal also includes requirements for schools to regularly inspect air systems and to test water for lead.

Education groups have critical of the proposed rules, saying the process was rushed and hoping the department would clarify its expectations.

The department says several school groups had the chance to weigh in and it has considered the economic impact of the rules.

The department is taking public comment on the proposal until Sept. 16.

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