Asbestos Found in Ash, Debris from Former NE Portland Kmart Fire, Oregon DEQ Says


Portland, OR – State and local agencies are investigating possible health concerns from the ash that fell over Northeast Portland’s Parkrose neighborhood when a former Kmart building burned on Wednesday. Some debris that fell at Luuwit View Park tested positive for asbestos, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said. They found more charred pieces and heavy dust from the fire in nearby yards and on Parkrose School District Property. The Parkrose School District canceled all outdoor school and rental activities on the Parkrose campus. For the full text of the article, click here.

Biden-Harris Administration Proposes to Strengthen Lead Paint Standards to Protect Against Childhood Lead Exposure


Washington, DC – EPA announced a proposal to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 buildings and child care facilities, known as abatement activities. The proposal would reduce the DLHS from 10 micrograms per square foot (µg/ft2) for floors and 100 µg/ft2 for window sills to any reportable level greater than zero in recognition of the fact that there is no level of lead in dust that has been found to be safe for children. Today’s proposal would lower the DLCL from 10 µg/ft2 to 3 µg/ft2 for floors, from 100 µg/ft2 to 20 µg/ft2 for window sills, and from 400 µg/ft2 to 25 µg/ft2 for window troughs, which are the lowest post-abatement dust-lead levels that the Agency believes can be reliably and effectively achieved. For the full EPA Press Release, click here.

AG Sues Syracuse Landlord After 11 Children in Rental Units Test Positive for Lead Poisoning by Douglas Dowty

Syracuse, NY – The state Attorney General is suing a Syracuse landlord after 11 children living in his apartments have tested positive for lead poisoning since 2016. Todd L. Hobbs, of Van Buren, owns 18 properties scattered across some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods under TLH Holdings LLC. His business has ignored federal, state and local laws designed to protect tenants from the harms of chipped or airborne lead paint, according to the AG’s office. Lead dust and paint chips were often left in living areas, the AG alleges. For full text, click here.

EPA and HUD Will Hold Virtual Public Workshop to Receive Stakeholder Input on the Detection, Measurement, and Characterization of Lead-Based Paint to Support Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposure


National – On October 17 and 18, 2023, the EPA and HUD will hold a virtual public workshop to receive stakeholder input on the detection, measurement, and characterization of lead-based paint to support efforts to reduce lead exposure. They will use information received during the workshop to inform their joint effort to revisit the federal definition of lead-based paint and  propose and finalize a revised definition, if necessary. The workshop will  cover several topics related to low levels of lead in existing paint, including the potential health effects, the relationship between lead-based paint and dust-lead, possible exposure pathways, and more. EPA and HUD are seeking presenters with specific expertise for this workshop.

Abstract submission guidelines at Visit EPA’s 2023 Lead-Based Paint Technical Workshop page at

E.P.A. Proposes Tighter Limits on Lead Dust in Homes and Child Care Facilities

New York Times by Carol Davenport

Washington, DC – The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint dust in homes and child care facilities built before 1978, an effort to eliminate exposure to lead that could require millions of property owners to pay for abatement. Under the proposed rules, any amount of lead dust in floors and window sills would qualify as “hazardous” and require abatement. Results that confirm the presence of any level of lead dust would require property owners to pay for clean up, E.P.A. officials said. “It dramatically increases the number of facilities that could be required to remediate lead paint hazards,” EPA’s assistant administrator said. For the full text of the article, click here.

Millions of Homes, Schools May Have to Eliminate Lead Dust Under EPA plan

Washington Post by Timothy Puko

Under the proposed rules, any amount of lead dust in floors and window sills would qualify as “hazardous” and require abatement.

Washington, DC – In one of its strongest measures yet against a contaminant that poisons children, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed tougher standards on lead in paint in older homes and schools, potentially triggering its removal in millions of buildings. The new rules would almost completely prohibit lead dust in older buildings. The only contamination allowed would be the lowest levels that current removal efforts can’t eliminate, the agency said. Under the proposal, prompted by a lawsuit, inspections that find any level of lead in a home or child-care facility would require the location to be classified as a lead hazard. That would trigger requirements for disclosures to families or home buyers, and in some cases requirements for the paint or source of the lead to be removed. For the full text of the article, click here.

Libby’s Health Clinic Accused of Submitting False Asbestos Claims

E&E News by Matthew Brown and Amy Beth Hanson

Washington, DC – BNSF Railway — controlled by billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate and found liable for spreading hazardous asbestos that killed hundreds of people in Libby is trying to convince a federal jury that a local clinic submitted hundreds of asbestos claims for people who weren’t sick, earning them lifetime government benefits. The case focuses on the Center For Asbestos Related Disease in Libby, and the health clinic’s high-profile doctor, Brad Black, who has been at the forefront of efforts to help residents of the town, which came to national prominence when it was declared a deadly Superfund site in 2000. For the full text, click here.

EPA Nominee: 200 Enforcement Jobs ‘Will Be Restored’

E&E News by Kevin Bogardus

Washington, DC – David Uhlmann, nominee to be assistant administrator in EPA’s enforcement office, said at a panel discussion hosted by the Federalist Society on Tuesday that he had advocated for more resources for the program. He added the agency had suffered losses from a decade of budget cuts, including 950 enforcement positions at EPA nationwide, or 30 percent of its enforcement and compliance workforce. “Abraham Lincoln once said law without enforcement is only good advice,” Uhlmann said. “I’m committed to leading strong enforcement and compliance programs at EPA.” For the full text, click here.

UNEP Report Provides Guidance on Compliance, Enforcement of Lead Paint Laws

International Institute for Sustainable Development

International – The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has published guidance on lead paint law compliance and enforcement, which are critical for the effective implementation of laws limiting lead in paint. The report outlines actions governments could take to ensure compliance with and enforcement of lead paint laws. The guidance also provides examples of actions that paint manufacturers and importers can take to demonstrate compliance. The guidance document lays out several actions to foster compliance with lead paint laws. These include drafting clear, enforceable lead paint laws that clarify who is regulated, what types of paint are regulated, the lead limit, when requirements become mandatory, and how to document compliance.  For the full text, click here.

EPA Launches Nationwide Series of Community Lead Awareness Sessions

EPA National

EPA is announcing a series of free educational sessions on the dangers of lead and ways to reduce and prevent lead exposure. These sessions are based on the Lead Awareness Curriculum, an adaptable resource to protect communities from potential lead exposure, and will be held in English and Spanish. Throughout 2023, EPA will host educational sessions in several communities that are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, reflecting the agency’s commitment to promoting environmental justice in parts of the country disproportionately impacted by lead, as described in the Agency-wide Lead Strategy released in November 2022. For the full text, click here.