There is a bill making its way through the State Legislature that will introduce significant change to the air in our indoor ice arenas. Paul Wahl explains the issue well in a story he wrote for the Bloomington Sun Current titled: Ice arena air quality target of legislation.
In addition to lowering the levels of carbon monoxide the state department of health finds adequate from 30 parts per million to 12.5 parts per million, the bill would require arenas to install sophisticated detector systems that would automatically link to air exchange units.
I met with the City’s Parks & Rec and Facilities Management staff this week to talk about the legislation. If it is adopted in its current form, it would require the City to purchase and install new air quality monitors in our three indoor ice arenas. Depending on the final version of the new law, this could cost the City anywhere from $5,000-$25,000 per rink. We might also need to get new equipment for edging the ice. That might be $5,000-$7,000 per rink, if we get a new edger for each sheet of ice. We might be able to share one among the three sheets, but we’ll figure that out later.
The Facilities Management staff tells me that our current air quality measurements comply with not only the current air quality requirements, but would also be compliant with the proposed air quality requirements included in the new law. In fact, and I saw the information myself this week, it’s not even close. The air in our arenas can already meet the new standards, so we’ve been OK and we’ll be OK as far as our arena indoor air quality is concerned.
This new law, however, is going to have quite an impact on older indoor ice arenas around the state. We’re going to hear some howls when small town Minnesota sees the bill for the changes this law is going to create in their ice arenas.