Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition Urges EPA to Preserve Lead Program Funding
Media Contact: Dr. David Jacobs, 202.607.0938, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBIA, MD (April 25, 2017) – The National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition on Tuesday announced the release of a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Signed by 226 organizations and 368 individuals from 46 states and the District of Columbia, the letter urges the Administrator to preserve funding for vital EPA programs to prevent lead poisoning.
A recent EPA memorandum marked two lead poisoning prevention programs for elimination: the Lead Risk Reduction Program and lead categorical grants to states. These programs support the hazard standards, work practices, and services that keep children, pregnant women, and workers safe from lead poisoning. As reported by Reuters (“Lead’s Hidden Toll: Hundreds More Lead Hotspots Are Identified as Trump Prepares to gut Programs,” April 21), there are thousands of neighborhoods and millions of children across the country who depend on programs like these to protect them from lead. The Coalition calls on Administrator Pruitt to fully fund EPA’s lead programs and join other members of the Administration in supporting increased funding for childhood lead poisoning prevention.
This letter is one part of the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition’s Find It, Fix It, Fund It campaign (#FindFixFund), an action drive that urges Congress and the Administration to develop and implement a bold, comprehensive national plan to eliminate lead paint hazards and replace lead pipes.
“Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. We know how to fix this problem. We should act on what the science tells us, not eliminate programs that work,” said Dr. David Jacobs, the National Center for Healthy Housing’s (NCHH) chief scientist.
Over 535,000 children under the age of six have elevated blood lead levels (readings above the CDC reference level). Childhood exposure to lead has lifelong consequences, including decreased IQ and cognitive function, developmental delays, and behavior problems; very high levels can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
“Our nation has laboratories, inspection firms, and abatement contractors who have the capacity to help end this problem,” said Steve Weil, Administrator of the Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA) and member of the Coalition’s steering committee.
Mr. Weil, Ruth Ann Norton of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), Charlotte Brody of Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), and NCHH’s Dr. Jacobs all contributed to the letter. The Coalition also thanks the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) for its contributions.
“Solving lead poisoning means having federal agencies working together: CDC identifying lead-poisoned children and providing needed education and outreach, HUD finding and remediating lead paint hazards, and EPA and local agencies enforcing critical regulations, such as the renovation repair and painting program,” said Kara Eastman, President and CEO of the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance. Ms. Eastman also serves on the Coalition’s steering committee.
Learn more about the Find It, Fix It, Fund It action drive and lead advocacy efforts here.