Court Requires Havenbrook Homes’ Landlord to Remediate Resident’s Exposure to Lead Paint

WCCO News

Minneapolis, MN – A court approved the state’s motion to require the landlord of Havenbrook Homes to stop exposing its tenants to lead paint in rental homes on Thursday. Progress Residential Management Services LLC is the company that owns and operates Havenbrook Homes. The company owns about 500 single-family residential properties throughout the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area and are one of the largest landlords in the state of Minnesota. According to a press release from the attorney’s office, last Friday the attorney general alleged that Progress violated numerous state and federal laws regarding lead-paint hazards. For the full text, click here

EPA Penalizes Home Renovators in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska for Lead-Based Paint Violations

EPA

LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 14, 2023) – Five Midwest home renovation companies have agreed to pay over $38,000 collectively in penalties to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve alleged violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

EPA has found that the following companies failed to comply with regulations that reduce the hazards of lead-based paint exposure during renovations:

  • Astoria Design Build LLC in Mission, Kansas
  • CAM Home Contracting LLC in St. Louis, Missouri
  • DRS Contracting LLC in Springfield, Missouri
  • Davis Contracting LLC in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dynasty Restoration Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska

According to EPA, among other alleged violations, each of the companies performed renovations on properties built prior to 1978 without an EPA-certified renovator, as required by federal law. For the full text, click here.

A New Study Says the Global Toll of Lead Exposure is Even Worse Than We Thought

NPR  by Nicole Estvanik Taylor

International – On the World Health Organization’s list of 10 chemicals of major public health concern, lead is a familiar villain.  Its most widely publicized health impact is neurological damage in children, often measured in the loss of intelligence quotient (IQ) points. But lead’s pernicious effects don’t stop in childhood nor at the brain. According to a new study in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, an estimated 5.455 million adults worldwide died in 2019 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) attributable to lead exposure — a toll more than six times higher than a previous estimate. The study goes on to provide what its authors say are the first monetary estimates of the total global cost of these lead-attributable deaths, along with the magnitude and cost of IQ loss in children under 5 years old. For the full text, click here

Proposed Revisions to the Laboratory Quality Systems Requirements Under the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program, Notice of Availability and Request for Comment

EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and soliciting comment on proposed revisions to EPA’s document titled “Laboratory Quality System Requirements (LQSR) Revision 3.0” dated November 5, 2007, under the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP). Proposed revisions reflected in the draft document titled, “Laboratory Quality Standards for Recognition” (LQSR 4.0),” are intended to update and streamline the guidance by referencing existing laboratory standards already in practice by NLLAP participating laboratories and directly related to laboratory lead analysis, and to update the test and sampling method standards to better complement EPA’s lead-based paint program activities. For the full text, click here

New Report Reveals Unexpected Source of Lead Contamination

TCD by Brittany Davies

National – Abandoned telephone cables are contaminating soil and waterways throughout the U.S. with toxic lead, according to an in-depth report from the Wall Street Journal. The investigation, which has since been partly disputed by the EPA in response to the WSJ report, found thousands of lead-covered cables left behind by major telecom companies have been polluting the environment for decades, posing a hidden threat to communities from coast to coast. The worst part is that these companies knew the dangers of these toxic cables, yet didn’t do anything about the potential health risk. For the full text, click here

EPA to Strengthen Lead Protections in Drinking Water After Multiple Crises, Including Flint

Associated Press Washington, DC

About four decades ago, when the Environmental Protection Agency was first trying to figure out what to do about lead in drinking water, Ronnie Levin quantified its damage: Roughly 40 million people drank water with dangerous levels of lead, degrading the intelligence of thousands of kids. But new regulations were going to be costly and complicated. So, “instead of trying to deal with it substantively, they just tabled it,” Levin, a former EPA researcher, said of some of her colleagues at the agency in the 1980s. Levin’s analysis then was leaked to the press, igniting a public outcry that pressured the EPA to act. And the rules it issued back then have stayed in place, with only modest changes, ever since. Now, the EPA is on the eve of strengthening them. For the full text, click here.

HUD’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2023

HUD National

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joins its federal agency partners in highlighting National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 22-28, 2023. HUD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are working to raise awareness, provide resources, and encourage preventive actions to decrease childhood lead exposure during the week and beyond. The outreach materials the agencies have created are customizable, allowing partners to select and tailor information to best meet the needs of their local communities, and are centered around three key messages: Get the Facts, Get Your Child Tested, and Get Your Home Tested. For the full text, click here.

EPA Determines that Lead Emissions from Aircraft Engines Cause or Contribute to Air Pollution 

EPA Washington, DC

EPA announced its final determination that emissions of lead from aircraft that operate on leaded fuel cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act. “The science is clear: exposure to lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects in children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Aircraft that use leaded fuel are the dominant source of lead emissions in our air. With today’s action, the Biden-Harris Administration can move forward in the process to propose new standards to protect all communities from the serious threat of lead pollution from aircraft.” For full text, click here

Syracuse Finds Thousands of Lead Paint Violations in Year One of Enforcement

CNY Central by Conor Wight Syracuse, NY

For the past year, the City of Syracuse Code Enforcement team has had the ability to cite lead paint issues. The head of the department said they’ve issued thousands of tickets as efforts continue to help prevent kids from becoming lead-poisoned. the city identified around 3,000 violations in about 1,600 properties since last autumn. Of those violations, he said about 61% — approximately 1,830 violations — are now closed. The Syracuse Common Council first passed the ordinance making lead paint a code violation in 2020; after delays attributed to red tape and the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcement began in August of 2022. For full text, click here.

New EJ Toolkit for Lead Paint Enforcement Programs

EHS Daily Advisor by Lisa Whitley Coleman

The EPA recently released a new resource for federal, state, tribal, and local government enforcement practitioners to use during all stages of environmental enforcement and compliance monitoring activities designed to eliminate harmful exposures to lead paint in housing. The Environmental Justice Toolkit for Lead Paint Enforcement Programs is a compilation of best practices and supports commitments made in the EPA’s Lead Strategy, which seeks to reduce lead exposures locally, with a focus on underserved communities, and promote environmental justice through a whole of government approach. For the full text, click here.