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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 22, 2017 02:12 PM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Mandatory carbon monoxide testing for indoor ice rinks
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would require the mandatory testing for carbon monoxide at indoor ice rinks.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and lethal gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, gasoline, kerosene, propane and natural gas. Since the gas cannot be detected by the senses, poisoning can occur easily. The symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning are often described as “flu-like." The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Ice-skating, hockey, and other ice sports are very popular in Pennsylvania, and there are dozens of ice rinks across the state. Many of these rinks use gas-powered ice resurfacers (often referred to as “Zambonis”) countless times per day. Much like a car left running in a garage, the CO emissions from these machines can be harmful if not properly vented. Electric machines are often cost-prohibitive, and there appears to be little effort on the federal level to require testing in these facilities.

Since most ice rinks are large, open spaces, and common CO detectors sound an alarm only after a determined amount of gas has built up over time, my legislation would require real-time readings of CO levels at least once per day in facilities that utilize an internal combustion-powered resurfacer. These readings would be taken at ice level, and at a time when the resurfacing machine is being used most frequently. Hazardous levels of CO, as well as necessary remedial actions, would be based on the recommendations of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1144