Developments in State Policy
Oregon law establishes a building code (including a residential code) that is uniform and applicable throughout the state, and municipalities may adopt different requirements only if approved by the state. See Or. Rev. Stat. § 455.040. In 2010, the state legislature enacted a law requiring the Building Codes Structures Board and the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board to adopt design and construction standards for mitigating radon levels in new residential buildings (Groups R-2 and R-3) and in new public buildings. See Oregon Rev. Stat. § 455.365. The radon control standards are to be applicable in several counties listed in the law (Baker, Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill), as well as in any county for which the boards consider the standards appropriate "due to local radon levels." The law does not specify the radon control standard to be adopted, but directs the boards to "give consideration to any standards recommended by" the U.S. EPA. The state Building Code and Structures Board has incorporated the International Residential Code Appendix F (radon control) into the Oregon Residential Specialty Code and incorporated requirements for passive soil depressurization into the Structural Specialty Code for public buildings.