Strengthening NYC’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Law

Along with our partners, we are working to strengthen New York City’s lead poisoning prevention laws. We urged the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to significantly shorten its compliance period for building owners to complete a lead paint inspection.

As part of this effort, we submitted comments on the original proposals to Chapter 11 of Title 28 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY) and the New York City Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 2003. After reviewing these suggestions, HPD will propose the incorporated recommendations at a hearing on December 29th. 

HPD’s original proposed amendments granted a new building owner at least one year for an inspection for the presence of lead-based paint within an apartment where a child under the age of six resided, even if an inspection was required years prior. Regardless of a change in ownership, transfers of lead-based paint inspection records are mandated by local and federal laws. The potential 12-month delay of compliance may put a young child’s health at risk, as they may be exposed to lead in that period. Under this original law, constant change of building ownership could impede on a child’s protection from the presence of lead-based paint. The NYLCV Education Fund, along with other advocacy groups, issued a letter to HPD insisting no more than 30 days for apartment compliance, regardless of a change in ownership.

Organizations that brought forth these recommendations with NYLCVEF include the Children’s Defense Fund New York, the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Clean and Healthy New York, the Cooper Square Committee, Earthjustice, the Legal Aid Society, the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Tenants Political Action Committee, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Dr. Morri Markowitz, Director of the Lead Prevention and Treatment Program at the Montefiore Medical Center, also joined the group in recommending revisions to NYC’s lead legislation.

NYLCVEF commends HPD’s acknowledgment of and intention to incorporate these revisions to the Administrative Code. This cooperation from the HPD is imperative to ending childhood lead exposure and lead poisoning in New York City. NYLCVEF looks forward to HPD’s hearing later this month and will continue to advocate for policies that will combat childhood lead exposure.