Groups Highlight Two Critical Bills to Ensure Effective Implementation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2023
Contact: Chris Dobens, 718-679-8542, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBANY, NY — Lead Free Kids New York (LFKNY), a statewide coalition of individuals, groups and organizations working together to end New York’s childhood lead exposure and poisoning crises, issued the following response to New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature’s 2023-24 State Budget to take the urgent action needed to address the state’s childhood lead poisoning crisis.
“Part T” of the state Health and Mental Hygiene budget for the 2023-2024 state fiscal year includes a requirement that residential owners of multi-unit rental properties inspect and certify that their buildings are free of lead paint hazards, and for the state to host a database of the results. In separate parts of the budget, funding is made available to support landlords in financial hardship with both testing and remedial actions.
The Lead Free Kids NY coalition is cautiously optimistic of this new requirement and applauds Governor Hochul and the legislature for taking this important step in lead exposure prevention. This new “Part T” grants broad authority, which will require new regulations that provide important details about how the program will work. We encourage the Department of Health to engage with impacted communities to develop an effective program in a timely manner.
The establishment of a new registry program further underlines the importance of passing critical legislation this session:
The Lead Based Paint Disclosure Act (S.2353 Kavanagh/A.4820 Rivera) will give the state a jumpstart in establishing this important program, as it outlines important details about how residential inspections would work at the point of sale. This is needed as a companion to Part T as it will create a baseline of information about properties across the state, help drive stable private testing capacity, and serve as a repository of data for ongoing inspections.
The Renovation, Repair and Painting Act (S.2191 Bailey/A.434 Bronson) will have state administer the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting rules for lead-safe work in buildings, allowing homes to avoid poisoning children with lead when lead dust is released during construction, and preventing construction workers from bringing lead dust home to their children. This becomes even more essential in the context of Part T, to ensure that when homes need repair, the contractors who do the work are fully trained, and do not inadvertently create the harm Part T is intended to prevent, namely spreading lead dust in the home and exposing children, the workers, and even the worker’s children to more lead than they would have encountered without the renovation.
With these two added laws, the new program in the budget will help New York grow a strong local business community of lead testers and certifiers in the hardest hit areas. The Lead Free Kids NY Coalition will continue to work with the sponsors of these bills to pass them this session, so that the new program established in “Part T” can work effectively.
Lead Free Kids New York (LFKNY) is a growing statewide coalition of individuals, groups and organizations working together to end New York’s childhood lead exposure and poisoning crises. Visit our website (LeadFreeKidsNY.org) and follow us on Facebook (@LeadFreeKidsNY) and Twitter (@LeadFreeKidsNY) to learn more about who we are, our policy priorities and how you can get involved in our movement to ensure all New York children are #LeadFreeKidsNY.
To begin to address the immoral childhood lead poisoning crisis in New York State, the Lead Free Kids NY coalition is urging the passage of the following legislation in this state session:
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure Act (S.2353 Kavanagh/A.4820 Rivera) – Requires sellers or lessors of pre-1978 housing to disclose to buyers or renters any knowledge of lead-based paint in residence.
- Renovation, Repair and Painting Act (S.2191 Bailey/A.434 Bronson) – Enables the State to administrate RRP rules and to conduct training, certification, and enforcement of the RRP.
- Landlord Insurance for Lead Based Paint (S.88 Ryan/A.1687 Rivera) – Ensures that victims of childhood lead poisoning are adequately compensated for their medical bills and other lead-exposure related expenses and damages (passed by the State Assembly).
- Lead Pipes Right to Know Act (S.5512 Rivera/A.6115 Paulin) – Another pathway to lead exposure is through drinking water. This bill requires each water utility to determine which service lines in its system are made of lead. It also requires the New York State Department of Health to make an inventory publicly available and create interactive maps (passed by the State Senate).
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