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senate Bill S. 2631

Should the EPA Update its Standards for Lead-Painted Houses?

Argument in favor

This bill helps the economy and ensures that low income families with kids that live in federally assisted housing aren’t getting lead poisoning.

Christopher's Opinion
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06/30/2016
Defining the safe level of something is a basic function of the EPA. Updating the records for future reference points is critical. It would be a better bill to enforce lead inspections for all housing, but it is critical individuals receiving housing funds get inspected to hold less than ethical landlords accountable for their property management. This two fold bill just sets what the EPA recommends while setting requirements for homeowners receiving federal funds. Health and safety and environmental protection is the point of the EPA. In economic terms, this could create jobs for an industry of lead abatement projects.
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Spanna's Opinion
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07/01/2016
I know from my experience as a house painter, that there is still plenty of lead present in the environment, especially in old and low income residences. For the most part, people are unaware of this, and children are often at risk.
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06/30/2016
All the nay votes are against "regulation" like it's a psychosis. Regulations help people. What would this hurt? Why would anyone be against this?
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Argument opposed

Lead poisoning levels are already falling dramatically due to current regulations, so there’s no need to add more regulations.

operaman's Opinion
···
06/29/2016
It was my belief the Lead components in paint was outlawed around the 1950s. Too old to remember without some investigation. So why this question? Does Obama's EPA need more public money. Probably needs money to pay for its Colorado Mine boondoggle and Office staff bonuses. By the way, did POTUS and EPA tell you the were involved in the Flint, MI disaster? Didn't think so. With so little time left until Novembers election, let cool the spending for a new Congress. Studies are good. Right? If lead levels are lowered, what about ground water lead contamination? Selenium or Chromium can also be serious. Next thing we the public will find out is the closing of public and private wells. Think about that. And just letting you know, gave up chewing on window sills many moons ago.
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Bill.W's Opinion
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06/29/2016
Why are we beating a dead horse here? Lead paint has been banned since 1978. As far as existing paint on existing houses, I think there is something to be said for teaching our children to NOT EAT THE PAINT!
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Austin's Opinion
···
06/30/2016
David Young thanks for personal responses. We don't need this bill because people are already informed of the paint. Plus we don't need the federal EPA. Each state can have their own EPA if they want. We need to bring govt. size and scope to responsible levels.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    IntroducedMarch 3rd, 2016

What is Senate Bill S. 2631?

This bill would set the unacceptable blood lead level at 5 micrograms per deciliter from 20 micrograms per deciliter. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would spread this information to the general public and create new regulations to enforce the new standards.

It would also require the HUD to perform tests for unacceptable lead levels on housing receiving federal assistance before families with children under age six move in. These checks would only be done on housing if the family is receiving federal assistance in some form (aside from mortgage insurance) and if the house was constructed before 1978. The checks can’t be only visual, and must include some kind of objective test for lead paint.

Additionally, the bill would ensure that if regulators find unacceptable amounts of levels in a house receiving federal assistance that already has a family living in it, HUD will relocate the family to a house without lead paint. This relocation would be immediate, without a wait list or other delays.

Impact

Families living in certain types of federally assisted housing; the EPA; the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2631

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) explained in a press release that updating federal lead standards would benefit both public health and the economy: 

“We have to bring these outdated lead standards up to date and consistent with the latest science.  More than that, we must invest in prevention which has unparalleled cost savings for society - every dollar spent on lead hazard control yields a return of $17 to $221 in savings.”

However, new regulations may not be necessary. Existing EPA regulations require that people buying homes constructed before 1978 are informed of any risks in the form of lead paint and are given the opportunity to have someone inspect the house for lead paint. This means the bill may not change much because of existing regulations.


Of Note: This isn’t the first bill to try to address lead poisoning. In 2007, a bill identical to the current one was introduced in the House, but it never made it to a vote. In 2008, Hillary Clinton reintroduced the bill to the Senate, with an accompanying bill in the House, but neither received a vote. The current bill also has a companion in the House, but neither has reached the floor yet for a vote.

Lead poisoning has dramatically decreased over the last 20 years. A CDC report from 2015 found that between 1997 and 2014, lead poisoning among American children fell from around 8 percent to less than 1 percent.


Media:

Summary by: Chris Conrad
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

AKA

Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016

Official Title

A bill to amend the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 to define environmental intervention blood lead level, and for other purposes.

    Defining the safe level of something is a basic function of the EPA. Updating the records for future reference points is critical. It would be a better bill to enforce lead inspections for all housing, but it is critical individuals receiving housing funds get inspected to hold less than ethical landlords accountable for their property management. This two fold bill just sets what the EPA recommends while setting requirements for homeowners receiving federal funds. Health and safety and environmental protection is the point of the EPA. In economic terms, this could create jobs for an industry of lead abatement projects.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    It was my belief the Lead components in paint was outlawed around the 1950s. Too old to remember without some investigation. So why this question? Does Obama's EPA need more public money. Probably needs money to pay for its Colorado Mine boondoggle and Office staff bonuses. By the way, did POTUS and EPA tell you the were involved in the Flint, MI disaster? Didn't think so. With so little time left until Novembers election, let cool the spending for a new Congress. Studies are good. Right? If lead levels are lowered, what about ground water lead contamination? Selenium or Chromium can also be serious. Next thing we the public will find out is the closing of public and private wells. Think about that. And just letting you know, gave up chewing on window sills many moons ago.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I know from my experience as a house painter, that there is still plenty of lead present in the environment, especially in old and low income residences. For the most part, people are unaware of this, and children are often at risk.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    All the nay votes are against "regulation" like it's a psychosis. Regulations help people. What would this hurt? Why would anyone be against this?
    Like (8)
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    Share
    It is high time this problem is corrected!
    Like (3)
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    Why are we beating a dead horse here? Lead paint has been banned since 1978. As far as existing paint on existing houses, I think there is something to be said for teaching our children to NOT EAT THE PAINT!
    Like (3)
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    To the dumbass who thinks you have to literally eat paint off the wall to get lead poisoning, you're clearly misinformed. It's powdeeedand rubs off the wall into the air in the home. From there, anyone who breathes in the house will certainly get lead poisoning. There are no safe levels of lead in the human body. Lead kills. Even in the smallest doses.
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    The EPA fails to act in the best interest of the people. They have become Enviro Nazis.
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    David Young thanks for personal responses. We don't need this bill because people are already informed of the paint. Plus we don't need the federal EPA. Each state can have their own EPA if they want. We need to bring govt. size and scope to responsible levels.
    Like (2)
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    No! Just reinventing the wheel on a forty year old problem to line someone's pockets. Way to go sellout Dick Turbin!
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    We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable of our society. The poor have little options in life and those options should be safe.
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    Any provision to further protect our children is worth the cost. If this saves ONE child, it's worth it!
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    the livelihood of our country and children is at stake.
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    Safety should be a priority, and this does that.
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    Sound great! "Move effected families immediately"but federal agents come inspect my home also.... Scary....
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    Nobody should be living in a house with lead poisoning.
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    We need to correct all toxic chemicals, we wouldn't want asbestos in in our homes why would we want lead
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    To those who think adding more "burdensome" regulations is too much to endure to ensure the optimal safety of our children: Just go move to a country with almost no environmental regulations (like China) and live there forever. Not all regulations are likable, but they exist to make sure human competition (like selling cheap, lead-filled paint for a high price) does not kill us.
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    Lead poisoning has life long neurological impacts. Any level of lead exposure in the blood should be unacceptable. We need to protect all families that do not fully understand the risks of the exposure. Prevention is key.
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    According to the MedLinePlus database of the U.S. National library of medicine, less than 10 micrograms per deciliter (dL) of lead in the blood is considered normal for adults. Furthermore, less than 5 micrograms/dL of lead in the blood is considered normal for children according the the aforementioned database. Therefore, it is my newly held belief that this new restriction is made and that low-income families are protected from unacceptable levels of lead within the paint of the homes that they are planning on purchasing, or have already purchased (that were made prior to 1978).
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