SCHUMER ANNOUNCES NEW LEGISLATION TO COMBAT MAJOR LEAD CRISIS IN ROCHESTER; SENATOR SAYS CONGRESS MUST IMMEDIATELY VOTE ON LEAD BILL TO HELP HOMEOWNERS IN ROCHESTER & UPSTATE NY REMOVE HAZARDOUS METAL FROM THEIR HOMES
By: New York’s Senator CHARLES E. SCHUMER
Rochester’s Housing Stock Is Old – 95% of Housing Units Are Pre-1980 And
Could Contain Lead Paint
Schumer Will Also Announces Push to Increase Funding for HUD Lead
Hazard Control Program Grant Program; Funding Has Plummeted Since
Schumer: Bill Will Provide Emergency Federal Tax Credits to Help
Homeowners Get The Lead Out
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced new legislation that will directly address the persistent lead problem in Rochester. Schumer said federal funding for lead poisoning prevention and remediation has plummeted and Congress must act fast to both restore historic funding levels and to pass his legislation to reduce the cost of removing lead from homes.
Schumer said that, despite all the progress made in Rochester to decrease the percentage of kids with lead poisoning, based on the most recent Monroe County Health Department’s 2014 data compiled by the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poising, 470 Monroe County children tested were found with blood-lead levels of 5-9 micrograms per deciliter, which is associated with permanent neurological damage and behavioral disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC says even low
blood lead levels are a major concern for children under 6 years of age because their brains are not fully developed and are sensitive to lead exposure. An additional 139 children living in Monroe County were found with blood-lead levels at or above 10 micrograms per deciliter. So despite the successful work over the past decade by officials with the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poising, Monroe County, and the City of Rochester to reduce the number of children with at least 10 micrograms per deciliter from a high in 2003 of 900 children to only 139 children in 2014, the number of children now known to have between 5-9 micrograms underscores the continued need to bolster lead hazard abatement efforts.
“Lead poisoning is an irreversible, preventable tragedy that robs many families and children of their future. We need to do everything we can to eliminate this hazardous lead from Rochester and Monroe County homes, which are vulnerable because so many were built before 1980,” said Schumer. “This new $3000 homeowner tax credit and critical increase in federal investments will help more families and communities get the lead out. That is why, next week, I am introducing a bill to finally give families, eligible landlords and homeowners with a $3,000 tax credit for to help cover the cost of removing lead hazards in their homes. We need to act now and we need to act fast to get toxic lead out of our homes, before it is too late.” Schumer noted that the tax credit would include those with household incomes up to $110,000.
“Homeowners need new tools like this $3,000 tax credit to increase awareness about possible hazards and to encourage them to make their homes healthier and safer,” said Elizabeth McDade, Program Manager of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning. McDade. “The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning fully supports Senator Schumer’s bill and we are extraordinarily grateful for his continued work to push for increases in this year’s budget for lead poisoning prevention initiatives. If the situation in Flint has taught us anything, it has proven that increasing funding for the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is absolutely vital to keep families safe from the devastating effects of lead poisoning.”
Read more here: Schumer lead poisonining press release 2 18 16