Former EPA National Radon Proficiency Program
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Dated: July 30, 1998
RE: The National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP)
Dear RPP Participant, Applicant, States, EPA Regions and RPP Stakeholders:
The purpose of this letter is to announce that EPA will cease operation of its National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP) on September 30, 1998. The primary basis for the decision to close the RPP is due to the Agency's limited resources. We would like to reiterate that this closure of the RPP does not change the Agency's position on the risk to radon radon is a significant health issue, and the second leading cause of lung cancer. The National Academy of Science's BEIR VI committee agrees with this position. Their report in February, 1998 estimated that radon causes between 15,000 22,000 lung cancer deaths annually. On a program level, EPA will continue its efforts to encourage people to test all homes, and mitigate those that exceed EPA's action level, and to promote radon resistant new construction through voluntary action and residential code adoption. We encourage States, industry, and others to continue to ensure the proficiency of individuals who are in the business of performing radon testing and mitigation. If you provide radon services to consumers, it is important that you continue to comply with any requirements in your individual State.
In an effort that began in 1995, the Agency has been investigating the feasibility of stimulating a private entity to undertake a radon proficiency program. As part of this effort, EPA awarded a cooperative agreement to the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) of Frankfort, KY, to design criteria "... for the Certification of Radon Service Providers, the Accreditation of Radon Chambers and Laboratories, and the Approval of Measurement Devices." After much input from industry, States, and others, the design of the criteria document was completed earlier this year, and a request for proposals from private entities was solicited by CRCPD. Recently, CRCPD announced that it has awarded a contract to pilot test the draft criteria document to the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) of Denver, Colorado (more information on the pilot test can be found at the CRCPD website www.crcpd.org/ ). The pilot test will run for one year. To find more information about the NEHA radon proficiency program, visit their website at www.neha.org/ . There is also another organization who has developed a private radon proficiency program, the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). Information on this program can be obtained from their website www.nrsb.org . We would also encourage you to contact your State radon office (www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html) for more information on requirements in your State.
EPA will stop accepting new or renewal applications to the RPP as of August 31, 1998. EPA will accept all complete and correct new applications (see Section 3 of the RPP Handbook, EPA 402 R 95 013, pg. 19 and Appendix F for the definition of a complete application) and re applications for listing as Analytical Service Provider, Residential Measurement Service Providers and Residential Mitigation Service Providers that are postmarked by August 31, 1998. To facilitate scheduling and completion of the required Device Performance Test before 9/30/98 for a new listing as an Analytical Service Provider, anyone wishing to list a new device in this segment of the program is encouraged to submit an application immediately. All participants who are listed in the RPP as of September 30, 1998 will be placed on an information list * that EPA will make available until September 30, 1999 here on its internet site. The purpose of the list is to provide information to the public in the interim before a private proficiency program is fully operational.
There are currently three categories of listings in the program that will be affected by the close out, which are as follows:
- If you wish to submit an initial application (new applicant) to the proficiency program, you must complete a correct and complete application and submit it to EPA before August 31, 1998. Specifically, if you are applying to be listed as a Residential Measurement Service Provider or a Residential Mitigation Service Provider, you must comply with the requirements in Section 3 and Appendix F of the RPP Handbook. When your application is complete and accepted, you will be listed in the RPP until Sept. 30, 1998, and your name will also appear on the "information" list that EPA will provide until September 30, 1999. Due to EPA's program shutdown on September 30, 1998, you will not be required to pay user fees if you are a new applicant applying between the date of this letter and August 31, 1998.
- If you are currently listed in the RPP and your annual listing will expire BEFORE September 30, 1998, that is, your anniversary falls between the date of this letter and August 31, 1998, you will still be required to maintain the biennial requirements, i.e., continuing education requirements. If your anniversary date is in June, July, August or September of 1998, you should have already received your reminder (they are mailed out 90 days before your anniversary date). Participants with anniversary dates in September1998 have already received their reminder notices, but have not been invoiced for user fees. You will have up to your anniversary date to submit your CE materials (remember, you cannot use the measurement or mitigation exam as a renewal option), however, due to EPA's program shutdown on September 30, 1998, the September 1998 anniversary dated participants will not be required to pay a user fee to maintain their listing through September 30, 1998.
- If you are a listed participant in the RPP as of September 30, 1998 and your anniversary falls AFTER September 30, 1998, you do not need to do anything. You will be listed on the information list at our website until September 30, 1999, and you will receive a prorated user fee refund.
If you have further questions, you can call (202) 343-9370, or via fax at (202) 343-2394. There will also be more information concerning the closure of the RPP here on EPA's radonpro website (Note: This letter, in addition to be sent to thousands of program participants, states, regions and program participants was also posted on EPA's RadonPro website (which no longer exists).
[Signed] Mary T. Smith, Director, Indoor Environments Division
* The list will clearly state that it identifies measurement and mitigation individuals and analytical service providers that satisfied the RPP requirements as of September 30, 1998, and that, because EPA is no longer operating a program, some of the listed participants may no longer be qualified after September 30, 1998 to perform the activities for which they were listed. The listing after September 30, 1998 does not, however, represent any form of EPA assessment of the qualifications of individuals or the accuracy of specific listed devices, or imply that EPA or the U.S. Government sanctions or endorses the services provided to private entities.
About EPA's Former National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP)
Policy on EPA's RPP-issued ID Badges
EPA-issued Radon Measurement (RMP) and Mitigation (RCP) Program photo-identification cards, and ANY item with EPA's logo or name, listing letters and identification numbers have not been valid since EPA closed its proficiency program in October 1998. Consequently, persons and companies should not represent themselves, their products or their services as "EPA Listed" or "EPA Approved" or "Meets EPA Requirements" or otherwise imply an EPA sanction. Consumers are encouraged to contact their State radon office for additional information or if you have a complaint or question.
EPA Acknowledgement of Non-Federal National Radon Proficiency Programs
After the close of EPA's National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP) in 1998, there were requests that EPA offer some form of recognition of non-Federal radon proficiency programs. EPA developed recognition criteria and offered a one-time acknowledgment to both of the existing non-Federal national radon proficiency programs (The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) and The National Environmental Health Association's (NEHA) National Radon Proficiency Program). This official acknowledgement [dated March 30, 2001] ran through December 31, 2002, at which time, EPA's determination expired. There were no extensions of this determination. To avoid misleading the public, the recognized programs were not to make reference to this EPA determination after December 31, 2002. EPA continues to encourage States, industry and consumers to work together to identify those elements that would improve non-Federal radon proficiency programs and go beyond EPA's former voluntary RPP. These improved elements should then be adopted as standards of practice.
We continue to make available some of the background materials that were part of the EPA's former National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP), specifically:
- EPA's National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP) Handbook (PDF) (131 pp, 1.2 M, about PDF) (July 1996)
- Quality Assurance Document (PDF) (124 pp, 398 K) (October 1997)
- Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols (July 1992)
- Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurements in Homes (PDF) (47 pp, 720 K) (May 1993)
- Descriptions of each of the 15 radon measurement methods (July 1996) that have been identified by the U.S. EPA and were used in EPA's former RPP. (PDF, 3 pp, 31 K)
- List of Radon measurement device manufacturers (as of April 1998) (PDF, 7 pp, 34 K)