March 24, 2022

White House Announces the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

The Biden administration is calling for building owners and operators, schools, colleges, and universities to assess indoor air quality and improve ventilation and air filtration in their buildings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is part of the Biden administration’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which was released on March 3. In a press release, the White House noted that the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides funds for ventilation and air filtration improvements, including $350 billion for state and local governments and $122 billion for schools.

As part of the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, EPA recently issued guidance that identifies actions to better protect the health of building occupants including creating a clean indoor air action plan, optimizing fresh air ventilation, enhancing air filtration and cleaning, and conducting community engagement and education.

"Protecting our public health means improving our indoor air quality,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Throughout the pandemic, building managers and facility staff have been on the frontlines implementing approaches to protect and improve indoor air quality to reduce risks and keep their occupants safe and healthy, and we are so grateful for their efforts. The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is an important part of helping us all to breathe easier."

EPA’s guidance was developed in collaboration with CDC, the Department of Energy, and other federal agencies.