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Radon Resistant New Construction Project History (11/18/03)

The City of Fort Collins has been working on radon since the late 1980's beginning with a radon survey of 100 homes. Since then we have:

  • Encouraged people to test their homes for radon & fix the ones with high radon
  • Sponsored educational workshops
  • Sold reduced-cost radon test kits at the Senior Center and the Building and Zoning Department
  • Offered zero-interest loans for radon reduction for low-income residents
  • Passed an ordinance requiring that homebuyers get radon information at point of sale
Radon-resistant new construction has been on the City's agenda since City Council adopted the 1996 Air Quality Action Plan. At that time, the City began to inform builders about radon resistant construction and encouraged them to install it on a voluntary basis.

In 1998, the City adopted building code standards to assure that the voluntary radon systems would be installed properly.

In 1999, the Air Quality Advisory Board again recommended mandatory radon resistant new construction, but Council tabled the issue in order to give the education program a chance to get off the ground. And it has worked to some extent. During the three years 2000-2002, about 10% of the single-family homes were built with radon systems.

Last fall (2002), Council members asked the Natural Resources Department to prepare an ordinance to require radon resistant new construction in the building code. Since the City was already working on an overall update of the building code, staff was asked to bring Council the radon ordinance along with the other building code revisions. The building code is being revised in two parts.

This fall (2003), the City will discuss adopting the International Residential Code, which covers single-family homes. Next year (2004), the City plans to update the code for multi-family and other kinds of buildings.

Outreach to the public regarding mandatory passive radon mitigation was conducted January- April, 2003. Many citizens and interested groups shared their opinion of the proposal. Comments were passed along to City Council on May 13 at their study session. At the study session, staff was directed to bring City Council an ordinance requiring active (instead of passive) radon mitigation in all new construction. A public hearing is scheduled for December 16, 2003, and a study session is scheduled for February 10, 2004. Council will vote on the matter in 2004.

To learn more about radon or the proposed ordinance, please contact Brian Woodruff, Environmental Planner at 221-6604.

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