Endorse the Environmental Justice Legacy Pollution Cleanup Act of 2021
This newly proposed federal legislation is designed to advance racial equity and environmental justice through $200 billion in total housing infrastructure investments in communities, including commitments of $45 billion in lead paint hazard remediation, $45 billion in lead service line replacement, and $1 billion to Native American communities to address housing related health and safety hazards. We need your help to show strong support for this much needed investment in housing and infrastructure, which has the potential to address lead paint hazards in 3,750,000 homes and provide critical capital investments for lead service line replacement nationwide.
Eradicating lead and other hazards in low income homes will produce generational benefits in health, education and lifetime economic benefits for children in black and brown communities in particular that have been disproportionately burdened by lead’s toxic legacy.
A Path Forward to End Lead Poisoning
GHHI has published the Strategic Plan to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, outlining key steps that cities, states, and federal policymakers can take to end lead poisoning as a major public health threat. These include:
- Increasing the budget for lead hazard reduction funding to $2.5 billion annually for the next five years for the remediation of lead hazards in paint, soil and water.
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency, FHA, HUD, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Veterans Administration should require identification and lead hazard remediation of lead based paint hazards and lead service lines in all federally owned homes and homes with federally supported or insured mortgages.
- Adopt a Lead Safe Income Tax Credit for homeowners performing lead hazard control for paint, water and soil.
- Medicaid should include lead hazard control interventions as a covered service in the homes of children identified with blood lead levels at or above the CDC reference level.
- Incentivize investment in lead-based paint remediation through creating a very low or no interest loan program accessible to homeowners and rental property owners.
- Increase the budget for the CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program to $50M/yr.
- Shift responsibility to the local level through requiring that any state or local government receiving CDC or HUD lead poisoning prevention funding establish environmental investigation and medical case management at the CDC reference level or lower and have a written 5 year plan to eliminate lead poisoning.
- Congress should revise Title X including: mandate that lead risk assessments and testing be performed in pre-1978 properties of paint, soil and water prior to sale for any property not previously determined to be lead free under the Lead Paint Disclosure Law, and expand eligible HUD grantees to include nonprofit organizations.
- The US Department of Energy (DOE) should broaden the allowance for Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds to replace leaded windows with lead free Energy Star windows and account for the benefits of replacing leaded windows in the Savings to Investment Ratio.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Form 990, Schedule H, should specify remediation of lead hazards as Financial Assistance and Certain Other Community Benefits at cost.
To read and download the full report, click here.