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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 21, 2016 04:06 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz and Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Lead Testing Package
 
In the near future, I plan to introduce a package of legislation requiring lead testing in three main areas.

My first piece of legislation requires children under the age of 6 to be tested for elevated lead levels in blood. Currently, the Center for Disease Control recommends being tested at ages 1, 2, and again before the age of 6. There is federal law in place that requires all Medicaid and Affordable Care Act recipients be tested, but there is no tracking of it. Currently, 19 states have laws to help prevent the exposure of lead in children. The CDC has determined there is no safe level of lead in children because the effects of lead are detrimental and irreversible, often attacking all major systems of the body. By better regulation, we will be able to recognize elevated levels and prevent any further damage.

My second piece of legislation will amend The Safe Drinking Water Act. Specifically, I am amending 109.1103 of title 35 to require more frequent testing for lead in water. Currently, state law requires water to be tested every 3 years, only at a reduced number of sample sites, after the initial passing. My legislation will require testing to be done annually at the reduced number of sample sites, and a complete test, from all sample sites, every 3 calendar years. By requiring more frequent testing we will be able to identify elevated levels of lead and rectify them before causing the same irreversible damage we are trying to prevent with child lead testing.

The last piece of legislation, which is being developed in partnership with my colleagues from the Lehigh Valley, will subject residential rental properties built before 1978 to the same requirements the federal law has laid out for the sale of residential homes. Currently, federal law requires a lead inspection of homes prior to the sale. My legislation will place the same requirements on rental properties every time a tenant vacates a property, or prior to renting to a new tenant. If levels of lead are present, the renter must rectify the problem or face an annual $5,000 penalty until the lead is removed. The funds from those penalties will be deposited into the newly created Lead in Homes Abatement Grant.

Please join us in tackling this state-wide crisis. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925



Document #1

Introduced as HB1917

Description: Providing for lead screening and related services, for health insurance coverage for lead screening and related diagnostic services and supplies and for duties of the Department of Health
  View Attachment
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB1918

Description: Amending the act of May 1, 1984, known as the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, further providing for powers and duties of the Department of Environmental Protection.
  View Attachment
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB1919

Description: This legislation amends the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 by creating a new section for lead inspection requirements and disclosure. There are currently no laws in the Commonwealth that require testing residential dwellings for lead exposure. This legislation fixes that problem.

Under the bill, lessors of residential dwellings built before 1978, which include apartments and single family homes, will be required to inspect for the presence of lead-based paint, and hazardous conditions such as chipping paint and dust from lead-based paint when those dwellings becomes vacant, or prior to new occupancy. Because of the associated risks and dangers of lead exposure, the inspection must be completed by a certified contractor or inspect technician in accordance with the Lead Certification Act.

In addition to inspection requirements, lessors must disclose all information regarding levels of lead, inspection results, basis for the determination, location of lead-based paint and any knowledge of hazardous conditions. Lessors will also be required to provide an EPA approved lead hazard information pamphlet prior to the start of a new lease. The lessor will also be required to disclose any information of lead-based paint in all common areas of the residential properties such as conference rooms, activity rooms, etc.

Lastly, lessors will be required to provide, in writing, a lead warning statement with the exact language defined in the legislation, a statement disclosing the information previously discussed, a list of records and reports of lead-based paint and hazardous conditions in the residential property being leased and a statement of receipt signed by the lessee. Upon failure to comply with these conditions, a lessor will be subject to a fine of $5,000 and a misdemeanor of the third degree. The fines collected will be deposited into the State Treasury to be credited to the Lead and Healthy Homes Program.
 
  View Attachment