Tuesday, February 20, 2007

$31.4 Million Dollars to Clean Up Lead

With all the lead and dust talk lately focusing on the EPA, I would be remiss if I did not give kudos to HUD for continuing its efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010 (EPA’s unattainable goal date). In a press release dated January 5, 2007 HUD announced this year’s recipients of $31.4 million dollars in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant funding.

According to Secretary Alphonso Jackson, "The communities receiving grants today have demonstrated that they are fully committed to making their older housing safer and healthier places for children."

This year’s grants were issued to 12 cities and counties throughout the United States. These programs will provide community education, homeowner awareness training, contractor lead safe work practices (LSWP) training and fund actual renovations to what are known as ‘target housing’ -- housing built before 1978 with a child under the age of six living there.

Remodelers will find interesting that these programs provide what is known as HUD’s 3R’s training. This training is almost the exact LSWP training required in EPA’s proposed Renovation, Repair and Painting Proposed Rule. With these classes being mandated in the future, taking them now will give you a jump start on your competition.

The best news is that taking one of these training sessions is free and gives your workers the training necessary to bid on the actual renovation projects funded by this program

To see the list of cities and counties receiving HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant funding this year click the link ‘here’.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hold on to Your Hat

Back in November I said the wheels of the RRP are in motion. And man, are they. Do you have your hat?

The EPA released its second major study examining lead exposure during remodeling projects on January 23, 2007. The report is succinctly titled Draft Final Report on Characterization of Dust Lead Levels After Renovation, Repair and Painting Activities as prepared by Battelle in Columbus, Ohio. This report can be downloaded by clicking ‘here’. Here is what the report found. Still have your hat?

In the summary of conclusions, the EPA states, “Application of the package of plastic protective sheeting, HEPA vacuuming and wet mopping, and cleaning verification practices in EPA’s proposed rule did result in lower lead levels at the end of a job than were achieved using baseline practices (no plastic protective sheeting and cleaning with a broom and a shop-vacuum vacuum).” Where’s my hat?

So, the EPA commissioned another study that reinforced what NAHB’s study reinforced and something every mother in America knows. If you work in such a way as to not make a mess, then clean up the mess there is no mess: clean as you work! I found my hat. I’ve had it on the whole time waiting for something to blow it off.

Thus far, the only thing even remotely close to doing this is the meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Lead Review Panel. This group of medical doctors, pathologists, and Ph.D’s in metallurgy and toxicology will be getting together in North Carolina on February 6th and 7th. This is the panel that helps the EPA establish the amount of lead in someone’s blood to be considered an elevated blood-lead level (EBL).

Their agenda includes discussion of the proposed lead rule and review of EPA’s and NAHB’s recent lead studies. Rumor has it that they are trying to establish a correlation between IQ levels in children and renovation activities. As CASAC meets fairly regularly, we’ll have to see what they come up with.

I’m holding on to my hat…