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Schools and Child Care Facilities across Nebraska to Receive Reminders about Lead Hazard Protection Rule

Release Date: 04/28/2009
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov



Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., April 28, 2009) - Public and private elementary schools, kindergarten and Headstart programs and child care centers across Nebraska will soon receive courtesy reminders from EPA Region 7 about a federal rule aimed at protecting children from exposure to harmful lead dust generated during renovations, repairs and painting projects at their educational facilities.

The rule, issued in April 2008 by EPA, requires contractors and construction professionals that work in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities to follow certain work practice standards to reduce potential exposures to dangerous levels of lead for children under age six who spend at least six hours per week in such facilities.

Next week, EPA Region 7 will send informational postcards to approximately 3,030 targeted schools and facilities in Nebraska. The postcards will remind administrators of child learning facilities that as of December 22, 2008, renovators are required to provide parents and/or guardians with a copy of the pamphlet, "Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools," prior to the beginning of renovation, repair or painting projects in those facilities.

Covered professionals include home improvement contractors, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades. Paid contractors and in-house maintenance personnel alike are covered by the rule. The rule does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities affecting less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room, or less than 20 square feet of lead-based paint on the exterior of a structure.

After April 22, 2010, renovations in child-occupied facilities and pre-1978 housing must be conducted by certified renovation firms, using renovators with accredited training, and following the work practice requirements outlined in the rule.

Interested parties may contact a toll-free hotline, 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) to request single copies of the "Renovate Right" pamphlet.