Asbestos Consulting Company Settles Claims of Illegals Asbestos Work at Everett Redevelopment Project

A Brockton asbestos consulting company will pay $52,000 in penalties and cease all operations to settle claims of illegal asbestos work during the 2020 redevelopment of a multi-building site that included multiple homes and an apartment building in a densely populated environmental justice neighborhood in Everett, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. This is the third case the AG’s Office has brought against the same company in two years for illegal asbestos work at projects in Rockland, Arlington, Malden, Waltham, Boston, and Everett. For the full text, click here.

Kansas Developer Improperly Removes Asbestos, Now Faces Jail Time

JD Supra Lawrence, KS

A failed attempt for an acquittal, coupled with a separate indictment of federal charges of collecting $400,000 in fraudulent tax refunds from the City of Lawrence, made 2018 a very stressful year for Thomas Fritzel. Fritzel, a developer in Lawrence, Kansas was found guilty of three Clean Air Act violations for “failure to notify of intent to demolish or renovate prior to removing regulated asbestos-containing material, failure to adequately wet regulated asbestos-containing material (RACM), and failure to contain RACM in a leak tight wrapping or container.” For the full text, click here.

116 Scientists Send Letter Rejecting WHO’s Draft PFAS Guidelines Berkeley, CA

More than 100 scientists sent a letter to the World Health Organization today urging a complete overhaul or withdrawal of the organization’s draft drinking water guidelines for the two most well-studied per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The letter details how WHO’s draft eschews calculating health-based standards, disregarding robust evidence for the harms of PFOS and PFOA. The letter also notes the lack of transparency about the draft’s authorship. For the full text, click here.

EPA Finds Methylene Chloride Poses an Unreasonable Risk

EPA Washington, DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a solvent used in vapor degreasing, metal cleaning, and in sealants and adhesive removers is a health risk. The EPA finalized a revision to the risk determination for methylene chloride, finding that “methylene chloride — as a whole chemical substance — presents an unreasonable risk of injury to human health when evaluated under its conditions of use.” The agency says the next step in the process is to “develop a risk management rulemaking to identify and apply measures that will manage these risks.” For the full text, click here. For the EPA statement and Final Risk Evaluation, click here.

Louisville Landlords Must Remove Lead-Based Hazards from Rental Units Under New Law

Courier-Journal by Billy Kobin

Louisville, KY – Nearly 10,000 children in Louisville from 2005 to 2021 tested positive for elevated levels of lead in their blood. But that figure is likely higher when accounting for decreased funding for screenings and many families lacking access to regular preventative care, according to Metro Government officials. Louisville lawmakers are now seeking to fight back against lead, a neurotoxin the American Academy of Pediatrics and other public health bodies warn can, even at low exposure levels, impact a child’s cognitive development, impulse control, literacy skills, concentration and physical growth. For the full text, click here.

EPA Releases Spanish Lead Awareness Curriculum to Spread Knowledge About Preventing Childhood Lead Exposure

EPA Washington, DC

EPA released the Spanish edition of the Lead Awareness in Indian Country: Keeping our Children Healthy! Curriculum (or Plan de estudios de concientización sobre el plomo in Spanish), a set of educational tools and community-based resources to reduce childhood lead exposure. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to expanding access to information and protecting all communities impacted by lead exposure and other public health issues. Spanish-speaking communities and families across the United States, including Puerto Rico, can now use the Curriculum to improve their understanding of lead’s potential impacts on children’s health and encourage actions to reduce or prevent childhood lead exposure. For the full text, click here.

EPA Shares New Resources to Help Increase Awareness of Lead-Safe Work Practices and Reduce Lead Exposure During Home Renovation

EPA Washington, DC

This week EPA launched the Renovate Lead-Safe Media Kit to prevent lead exposure when performing and promoting renovation, repair and painting (RRP) projects on homes built before 1978. The kit contains important information and messaging that can be used on social media and other sharing platforms. As expressed in EPA’s Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities, the Agency is using various methods—including the development of new and improved outreach materials—to reduce lead exposure and educate communities on the risks of lead exposure. For the full text, click here.

EPA Enforcement Action Helps Protects Health of Vulnerable Communities from Lead Paint Hazards

EPA Washington, DC

As part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted several federal enforcement actions completed from October 2021 through September 2022, as well as future planned investigations. These actions ensure that renovation contractors, landlords and realtors comply with rules that protect the public from exposure to lead from lead paint. By bringing companies into compliance with these rules, EPA protects future customers and their families. For the full text, click here.

Renovators, Contractors Fined for Paint Violations

Paint Square EPA Region 10

As a result of being found in violation of lead-based paint safety regulations, 22 residential home renovators and contractors from Idaho and Washington recently settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10. The fines are a result of the EPA’s compliance and enforcement program having conducted 137 inspections of home renovation contractors. According to the EPA, the number of inspections is the highest the region has completed in previous years. Half of the inspections were reportedly carried out in communities with environmental justice concerns. For the full text, click here.