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Air Quality in Indoor Ice Arenas:

Developments in State Policy

 

Rhode Island

Citation: R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-23.6-1; R.I. Admin. Code § 216-RICR-50-15-4.1 

Available: Law; Regulation

Summary: Rhode Island law and regulations require owners and operators of ice arenas that utilize internal combustion engine-powered ice resurfacing machines and/or internal combustion heaters or other devices that produce carbon monoxide (CO) and/or nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions to obtain certificates from the state Department of Health and to maintain acceptable CO and NO2 levels.

Key Provisions:

  • Certification. Rhode Island law and regulations require owners and operators of ice arenas that use resurfacing machines or other internal combustion devices to obtain a certificate of acceptable air quality from the Department of Health and to display the certificate in a conspicuous location.
  • Air Quality Standards. The law and regulations require owners/operators to maintain acceptable air quality conditions. The regulations specify that these include a one-hour average air concentration of 30 ppm of CO and 0.5 ppm of NO2. If either of these levels is exceeded, the operator must take immediate corrective action. If any reading of 85 ppm or higher of CO and/or any reading of 2 ppm or higher of NO2 is measured, the arena and adjacent areas must be immediately evacuated and the Department notified. Whenever the minimum acceptable air quality conditions are exceeded, the owner/operator must implement corrective actions (e.g., immediately increase the ventilation rate) and submit a report to the Department within five working days.
  • Air Sampling and Recordkeeping. The Department of Health may require an owner/operator to perform air quality tests that the Department deems necessary in order to characterize the exposure of ice arena occupants to CO and other harmful gases. The regulations require that CO measurements be taken at least three times per week that the arena is open to the public and detail when and how the measurements must be taken. Owners/operators must maintain measurement records and submit them monthly to the Department and post them in a publicly accessible area.
  • Enforcement. The Department of Health may inspect an ice arena without prior notice and may respond to complaints of elevated levels of CO and other harmful gases. The Department is also authorized to issue an immediate compliance order if a violation exists that may pose a threat to the health, welfare, or safety of the public and to suspend or revoke a certificate. The Department may initiate injunction proceedings to enforce the compliance order. A separate state law establishes a fine and/or imprisonment for violations of the law, regulations, or compliance orders.

 

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