Reporting IAQ Problems

(For Staff and Parents)

Maintenance MCPS Environmental Services/Indoor Air Quality (ES/IAQ) is charged with addressing problems related to indoor environmental conditions at all MCPS facilities. Examples of such problems include health concerns associated with building or room conditions, unusual odors, moisture problems, and suspected mold growth. MCPS personnel and parents can report these types of problems to ES/IAQ using the following downloadable forms:

Indoor Air Quality Complaint Form (MCPS Form 230-23)  

Building Services Indoor Air Quality Checklist (MCPS Form 230-24)  

The recommended process for using these forms to report problems is provided below:

•  Requestor completes MCPS Form 230-23, Indoor Air Quality Complaint, and submits it to his/her supervisor or the principal.

•  The principal/supervisor reviews the 230-23 and provides a copy to the building service manager.

•  The building service manager conducts an initial investigation and completes MCPS Form 230-24, Building Services Indoor Air Quality Checklist.

•  The building service manager provides a copy of the completed 230-24 to the requestor and discusses his/her findings and corrective work with the requestor and the principal/supervisor.

•  The principal/supervisor completes the “Action Taken” section of the 230-23 form and signs it; copies are provided to the building service manager, principal/supervisor, requestor, and the requestor's union (if applicable).

•  The requestor completes and signs the “Followup” section of the 230-24.

•  The building service manager and principal/supervisor sign the 230-24; copies are provided to the building service manager, principal/supervisor, requestor, and the requestor's union (if applicable).

•  Copies of the 230-23 and 230-24 are submitted to MCPS ES/IAQ.

•  If the 230-23 or 230-24 indicates the problem has not been resolved, an Environmental Safety Coordinator initiates an investigation.

Copies of the forms can be faxed to 301-926-4820 or sent by Pony to MCPS Indoor Air Quality - Shady Grove Depot.

Problems related to room temperatures, faulty ventilation equipment operation, asbestos-containing materials, and pests should be addressed through work orders submitted to Division of Maintenance.

IAQ-related emergencies should be reported immediately by calling 301-926-4409 or 301-926-4317. 

ES/IAQ follows a sequential protocol for complaint response upon receiving each complaint.

IAQ Complaint Response Protocol

Complaint Reception/Routing

1. MCPS Environmental Services/Indoor Air Quality receives a complaint.

2. The complaint is provided to an Environmental Safety Coordinator.

3. The Environmental Safety Coordinator assigns priority status (emergency, non-emergency).

Indoor Air Quality Evaluation

4. The Environmental Safety Coordinator visits the facility associated with the complaint (immediately for emergencies; within 5 business days for non-emergencies).

5. The Environmental Safety Coordinator interviews the complainant and other personnel with relevant information, such as the Building Service Manager, Plant Equipment Operator, Division of Maintenance personnel, the complainant's supervisor, and other building occupants.

6. The Environmental Safety Coordinator evaluates Indoor Air conditions for affected locations. This can involve:

  • Visual inspection for Indoor Air problems (water leaks, possible fungal growth, poor room cleanliness, ventilation-related problems, other potential contaminant sources and pathways, building construction/modification-related problems).
  •   Inspection of ventilation equipment for proper operation and cleanliness.
  •   Quantitative measurement of Indoor Air conditions (air temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, carbon monoxide concentrations, relative humidity levels).
  • Quantitative measurement of potential air contaminants.
  •   Qualitative evaluation of moisture content of building materials and room surfaces.
  •   Review of relevant Division of Maintenance work order records for the facility.

7. The Environmental Safety Coordinator identifies potential causes for the complaint.

8. The Environmental Safety Coordinator determines corrective action, if needed.

9. The Environmental Safety Coordinator notifies the complainant, the complainant's supervisor, the Principal (or facility administrator), the Building Service Manager, and other interested individuals of identified problems and planned corrective action.

Corrective Action

10. The Environmental Safety Coordinator assigns corrective tasks to MCPS personnel (Building Service Manager, Division of Maintenance depot personnel, Division of Construction personnel, facility administrative staff) as appropriate.

11. If necessary, the Environmental Safety Coordinator hires contractors to complete corrective work.

12. If necessary, the Environmental Safety Coordinator initiates a special project for completion by the MCPS Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Team. Special projects can involve fungal (mold) remediation and ventilation equipment cleaning.

13. The Environmental Safety Coordinator verifies completion of corrective work.

14. The Environmental Safety Coordinator notifies the complainant, the complainant's supervisor, the Principal (or facility administrator), the Building Service Manager, and other interested individuals of corrective action completion.

IAQ Team Special Project

15. If a special project is required, the Environmental Safety Coordinator conducts a job hazard analysis and creates a written work plan for the project. The work plan includes:

  •   A description of the problems requiring correction.
  •   Required processes for correcting the problems.
  •   Necessary hazard control methods (work location enclosure, local exhaust ventilation, personal protective equipment, etc.).
  •   Occupational safety and health information for IAQ Team personnel.
  •   Any other relevant information needed for timely, proper project completion.

16. The Environmental Safety Coordinator provides the work plan to the Environmental Safety Specialist.

17. The Environmental Safety Specialist reviews the work plan and determines needed equipment and material, personnel assignments, and necessary project modifications.

18. The IAQ Team Field Supervisors acquire necessary equipment and schedule the special project.

19. IAQ Team personnel complete the special project.

20. The Environmental Safety Coordinator, Environmental Safety Specialist, or IAQ Team Field Supervisors verify proper project completion.

21. The Environmental Safety Coordinator notifies the complainant, the complainant's supervisor, the Principal (or facility administrator), the Building Service Manager, and other interested individuals of special project completion.

Follow-Up Action

22. Necessary follow-up action (re-evaluation, additional corrective work, etc.) can be initiated by the Environmental Safety Coordinator, IAQ Team personnel, the complainant, or other affected individuals.

Downloadable Version