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EPA Begins Effort to Reduce Children’s Exposure to Lead Paint in New Haven, Conn. Area

Release Date: 04/07/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – In an effort to improve compliance with laws that protect children from lead paint poisoning, EPA is sending letters to approximately 200 home renovation and painting contractors, property management companies and landlords in and around New Haven, Conn. announcing a compliance assistance and enforcement initiative. The EPA letter outlines steps EPA is taking to increase compliance on the part of these entities with the federal lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

EPA’s RRP Rule, which became effective in April 2010, is designed to prevent children’s exposure to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards resulting from renovation, repair and repainting projects in residences, schools and other buildings where children are likely to be.

This Rule requires individual renovators and firms performing renovations to be trained and certified so that they follow lead safe work practices during renovations of pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities in order to protect children from lead poisoning.

The letter EPA is sending to New Haven-area contractors, landlords and property management companies invites these entities to an information session at the New Haven Health Department office, 54 Meadow Street, New Haven, on April 16, 2014 from 3 to 6 pm where EPA will provide an overview of the RRP Rule requirements, and introduce an expedited settlement offer for one violation of the RRP Rule. The letter also notifies the contractors that EPA will be inspecting a number of them in June 2014.

During April and May, EPA will offer compliance assistance on the RRP Rule to companies and the public in the New Haven area. In June, EPA lead inspectors will inspect numerous renovation, painting and property management companies in the New Haven area regarding their compliance with the RRP Rule. The inspections may be followed up with enforcement.

Besides increasing protection for children’s health, EPA aims to ensure a “level playing field” for individuals and companies that are already complying with the RRP Rule. EPA is coordinating with many agencies, including the New Haven Health Department and the Connecticut Department of Public Health on this initiative.

EPA is doing this initiative in the New Haven area because public health records indicate that New Haven has one of the highest rates of childhood lead exposure in New England. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. Because New England has so much older housing stock, lead paint is still frequently present in buildings that were built before 1978, when lead paint was banned.

More information:

- Lead paint RRP Rule (http://www.epa.gov/lead/rrp/index.html)

- Why lead is a health hazard (http://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead.html)

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