The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code to establish a new chapter on air filtration efficiency standards. The bill would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to adopt rules that establish air filtration efficiency standards for public schools, private schools, and childcare facilities based on best practices. The bill would require each school or facility to periodically test a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system or a component of that system and take any necessary action to replace a system or component that does not meet air filtration efficiency standards to TCEQ and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The bill would also require schools and facilities to notify local stakeholders and other interested parties if testing reveals a system or component does not meet the established standard. The bill would require TCEQ and TEA to jointly prepare and submit a written biennial report of information for the preceding two years regarding date of testing, testing results, and any required actions.
This estimate assumes duties and responsibilities associated with implementing the provisions of the bill could be absorbed with existing resources.
The bill would take effect immediately upon receiving a two-thirds majority vote in both houses; otherwise, the bill would take effect September 1, 2021.
According to the TEA, the bill would likely have a significant fiscal impact to public schools due to the costs of testing, remedying deficiencies, and reporting. According to the Texas Association of School Boards, Austin ISD is already testing and installing air purifying systems, but the overall cost is tied to other disaster-related precautions.
While there may be fiscal implications to local educational and child care facilities, the overall impact cannot be determined at this time.