Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ice Arenas - Air Quality Rules

As of May 20, 2013, all ice arenas are subject to new air quality rules.  The rule changes are concerning air quality in the arenas, the measuring of that quality and employee training related to these measures.  The rules are applicable to all arenas, including those without internal combustion engine-powered equipment being operated indoors. 

Acceptable Air Quality
When the building is open to the public, the air quality conditions must be within the acceptable range and be maintained throughout the arena building.  This means that from the time the arenas doors open to the public to the time the doors close, the new air quality standards must be met.  This standard applies even when the arena is open with no attendance.  The acceptable air quality limits have been reduced to: one hour average concentrations of <20 ppm CO and <0.3 ppm NO2.

Certification and Training
All ice arenas must apply for certification annually.  You will receive an application and renewal notice from MDH (Minnesota Department of Health).  The new standard requires that at least one trained person must be available in the arena building when the arena is open to the public.   There must be annual refresher training specifically tailored to the facility and the trainee’s duties provided for all responsible persons. 

Measurement of Air Quality
Measurements of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels need to be taken at least twice per week when fuel-powered ice resurfacers are used.
  • One of the two sets of required measurements for resurfacers must be on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Air quality measurements must be taken at least once per week following maximum use of fuel-burning edgers.
  • If edging when arena is open to the public, testing is required 20 minutes after completion of edging.
  • If edging when arena is closed to the public, testing can be done any time prior to opening the building to the public.

Air Testing Equipment
Electronic air monitoring devices are permitted without special approval providing that they meet criteria stated in rule.
  • Air monitoring devices must be used, stored and calibrated according to manufacturer specifications.

When CO and/or NO2 Levels are High
When measurements of CO exceed 20 ppm or NO2 exceed 0.3 ppm, you must:
  • immediately increase the ventilation rate, and
  • suspend internal combustion engine
  • use until acceptable air quality conditions are measured throughout the building.

When unacceptable levels of CO or NO2 are measured, follow-up testing must be performed and documented as follows:
  • every 20 minutes until acceptable air quality is measured,
  • 20 minutes after the next five uses of ice maintenance equipment, and
  • at least once per day for the next three days.

 By Paul Gladen


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