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Colorado Radon Regulations for Commercial Real Estate

By: Haley Hinger

Radon in Colorado

Let’s start with discussing what radon is and why it can be potentially dangerous. Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally occurring and comes from the breakdown of radium and uranium in the soil. It is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. Radon can enter a building as the gas moves up through the soil. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States and is responsible for approximately 500 lung cancer deaths annually in the state of Colorado alone. The state of Colorado is ranked as seventh in the United States for the highest radon levels. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has stated “the average indoor radon level in the U.S. is about 1.3 pCi/L in air. Colorado’s average indoor radon level is about 6.4 pCi/L.” Since Colorado’s soils have higher probability of producing radon gas, radon disclosures are required in Colorado real estate transactions.

Radon poses a significant risk for long-term exposure, as it doesn’t cause any short-term symptoms of illness. In the case of CRE, this is mostly a concern for multi-family residential properties. According to the Environmental Conditions portion of the Colorado Seller’s Property Disclosure Form (Section N), radon is a hazard that, if known by the seller to exist or ever have existed, must be disclosed. Even if previous test results were less than 4 pCi/L (the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standard).

Colorado Certified Radon Professionals

The state passed a law (HB21-1195) in July of 2022 requiring all Colorado Radon professionals to be licensed under the director of the CDPHE in order to create a regulatory framework for those practicing radon measurement and increase consumer protection. There are two available licenses under the new law: Radon Measurement Professional (RME) and Radon Mitigation Professional (RMT). The RME license is for professionals performing the radon testing, and the RMT license is for professionals installing the mitigation systems. The bill established various coursework, testing, and certifications to obtain and maintain these licenses.
Radon testing can be conducted in as little as 96 hours. Long-term tests can also be conducted. In commercial real estate, short-term testing is typically used. After the tests are placed and the duration is completed, the results are analyzed by a laboratory. Radon tests can be conducted separately or conducted as part of an environmental assessment.

When conducting commercial real estate in Colorado with a risk of radon, it is important to choose a Radon Measurement Professional who is familiar with the state’s regulations and certified with the appropriate license. Partner utilizes short-term and long-term EPA-approved radon tests, depending on the client’s needs. With that new law in place (HB21-1195), Partner can continue offering the same reliable and professional radon testing services.