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Environmental Health & Safety
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Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) at MPS

Providing a healthy, safe and comfortable work and learning environment for students and staff is a critical component of Minneapolis Public School’s (MPS) mission. In accordance with Minnesota Statutes and MDH and EPA guidance on IAQ in schools, MPS has implemented its Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Plan to improve, monitor and maintain acceptable IAQ in the school buildings by:

  • Minimizing indoor air pollutants through preventive measures such as routine maintenance activities, periodic building evaluations and inspections, and IAQ-specific procedures. This will reduce the likelihood of health problems, including asthma, respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and other health problems.
  • Maintaining ventilation equipment and providing air flow and air exchange rates in accordance with recommended American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. This will limit temperature, humidity, and ventilation associated problems, which will foster students’ comfort and learning.
  • Preventing indoor air quality events, which will help slow building deterioration, avoid school closures, minimize liability risks, and foster a positive relationship among parents, teachers, and the school administration.
  • Respond to IAQ-related concerns in a thorough and prompt manner through investigation, documentation, and effective communication.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MPS completed ventilation studies for all occupied elementary, middle school, high school and central office buildings. These studies and reports identified potential improvements to ventilation based on recommendations and guidance provided by ASHRAE. Click here to review the individual Building Ventilation Reports. While not all of the recommendations were implemented due to various factors, where improvements could be achieved (like increasing filtration and adding more outside air) MPS invested in those improvements.

MPS has increased filtration in the existing ventilation systems where it could be completed, and where that could not be done, provided portable HEPA filtration units to the classrooms and common areas. Ventilation systems were adjusted to operate continuously 2 hours prior to building occupancy until 2 hours after the last person leaves the building. This ensures adequate fresh air is supplied to the spaces and increases the amount of air filtered. MPS also adjusted the ventilation systems to increase the amount of outside air being supplied to classrooms without sacrificing staff/student comfort. Finally, demand style ventilation controls were disengaged, and the systems allowed to operate continuously to ensure adequate ventilation to spaces.

In the summer of 2022, Environmental Health and Safety reviewed and tested the portable HEPA filtration units to ensure they are operating and filtering properly. The testing showed that the units are still operating within manufacturer design specifications and so replacement of the interior HEPA filters is not required at this time. The Plant Maintenance department also routinely reviews filtration for the building ventilation systems to ensure that the equipment and filtration are operating properly and within design specifications.

For more information on how MPS is keeping students healthy and safe in school, check out MPS’ COVID-19 Health and Safety website.

Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ventilation & Filtration.


Organic Herbicide & Pesticide

Minneapolis Public Schools has made great strides in reducing the use of chemicals in our grounds maintenance and we continue to move towards organic herbicide and pesticide practices. 

Please click here for additional information on MPS' organic herbicide and pesticide program.


Radon Safety Management Plan

To keep our students and staff safe, and because district leadership has placed a high priority on wellness initiatives — including radon testing — MPS initiated a radon testing program in 2017.

Please click here for additional information on radon testing in Minneapolis Public Schools.


Lead in Water Safety Plan

Minneapolis Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning and work environment for all of our students and staff.  In accordance with Minnesota Statute 121A.335, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education, MPS has implemented its Lead in Water Safety Plan. 

Please click here for additional information on the Lead in Water Safety Plan.


Asbestos Management Plan

In accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) in Schools Rule (40 CFR Part 763, Subpart E) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) rules and regulations, MPS monitors all ACM within its District buildings and performs periodic surveillance and re-inspections to ensure that the materials are maintained in good condition. If ACM are to be disturbed by renovation activities or if a response action is required, appropriate precautions and/or abatement methods as defined in the federal and state regulations are implemented and followed. 

Please click here to review the District-wide Asbestos Management Plan.  Individual District building Asbestos Management Plans are available for review by calling 612-668-0307 or by emailing Jason.karpe@mpls.k12.mn.us


Radiofrequency Safety

In accordance with District Regulation 7010 B regarding Radiofrequency (RF) Safety and to ensure that RF levels are in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards, MPS performed radiofrequency testing at all District sites where RF generating equipment is present.

Please click here to view the radiofrequency testing reports.