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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 11:54 AM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Lead Testing Package (Former HB 1917, 1918, 1919 and 2287)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce a package of legislation requiring lead testing in four 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 third 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.

My last piece of legislation requires day cares licensed by the Department of Human Services to be tested for lead as part of their licensure procedures. Currently, there are no laws that require day cares be tested for levels of lead. This bill would require day cares licensed by the Department of Human Services be tested for lead levels as part of their licensure process. The testing would include levels of lead in water, paint and soil. In addition, this bill would prohibit the Department of Human Services from issuing a license to any day care in which lead levels are higher than the Center for Disease Control recommendations. In the case that a day care is found to have elevated levels of lead, the facility would be required to submit a remediation plan that follows all regulations for removal, and remediation in current regulation.

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 HB666

Description:  (Cruz, former HB 1917): 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.

Document #2

Introduced as HB667

Description: (Cruz, former HB 1918): 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.

Document #3

Introduced as HB668

Description: (Schlossberg, former HB 1919): This legislation amends the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 by creating a new section for lead inspection requirements and disclosure.

Document #4

Introduced as HB669

Description: (Cruz, former HB 2287):  This legislation requiring day cares licensed by the Department of Human Services to be tested for lead as part of their licensure procedures.