Bills address childhood lead contamination in households by requiring landlords to permanently remove lead paint

Legislation would also give City power to halt lead-generating construction work  

CITY HALL – As part of a citywide effort to eliminate one of the main household causes of lead poisoning, Council Member Margaret S. Chin introduced yesterday two pieces of legislation to remove lead paint and allow the City to stop construction work that generates lead-based hazards.

“No one should have to live with the fear of exposure to toxic lead in their home, especially families with young children whose health and safety are most at risk,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I am proud to introduce two pieces of legislation to ensure that our homes are safe, clean and free of dangerous toxins. I look forward to working with Speaker Johnson and my Council colleagues to move these bills forward and arm New York City residents with stronger tools to eliminate lead poisoning.”

In 1960, New York City was one of the first municipalities to ban the use of lead paint. In 2004, Local Law 1 set a goal for the City to eliminate lead in all residential buildings by 2010. Eight years past that deadline, it is clear that there is still more work to be done.

Under current law, landlords must perform annual checks for lead-based paint hazards in multiple dwellings built before 1960 with units that house children under 6 years old. Landlords must also perform a check whenever an apartment becomes vacant. To remediate the problem, landlords often paint over the lead paint surface. Because paint is susceptible to chipping or fading, this only creates a temporary solution to the presence of lead.

Intro 873 pushes for a permanent solution by requiring landlords to permanently remove or encapsulate any lead paint once a unit becomes vacant.

Intro 874 would increase inter-agency coordination when construction work blows lead particles into residential units and common areas, and also allow the City to issue a stop work order if a unit has received a notice of a lead-based paint hazard.

These two bills, sponsored by Council Member Chin, were introduced as part of a legislative package of 23 bills to expand the City’s oversight over lead paint, decrease the threshold for elevated blood lead levels that trigger investigation, improve inter-agency coordination and call for reporting to assess the impact and effectiveness of the City’s lead prevention measures.