Legislation Assembly Democrats L. Grace Spencer, Elizabeth Muoio, Daniel Benson, Eliana Pintor Marin and Annette Quijano sponsored to support statewide efforts to eliminate lead-based paint hazards in New Jersey’s communities gained Assembly approval on Monday.
The bill (A-1378) would allocate $10 million to the Department of Community Affairs to combat lead paint hazards.
The measure is part of efforts by Assembly Democrats to lift people out of poverty and rebuild New Jersey’s middle-class.
“This legislation provides much-needed funding for state programs which protect children and families from lead hazards in the home,” said Spencer (D-Essex).
The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund provides funding to address lead-based paint in New Jersey in a comprehensive and focused manner. Programs include lead-based paint hazard control through lead abatement or interim controls; emergency relocation of households which include a child with an elevated blood lead level; extensive statewide, regional and community-based education and outreach; training courses in lead disciplines such as lead-safe building maintenance practices; identification of lead-safe housing via a web-based Lead Safe Housing Registry available to the public; increases in identification of lead-based paint hazards and lead dust hazards via the distribution of free dust-wipe kits; and purchasing X-ray fluorescence analyzers for use by local health departments.
“Lead Hazard Control programs have helped New Jersey families identify and rid lead hazards for many years,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This funding ensures the programs will continue to be effective in their work.”
“The science is clear – lead exposure is a very serious, but preventable health risk to our children and families,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This bill will help us continue to be proactive in lead poisoning remediation and prevention.”
“Particularly among small children, exposure to lead can cause brain damage and harm to other vital organs,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “This measure will help eliminate the threat lead presents to New Jersey’s youngest residents and keep our state well.”
“Over the past few months we have been reminded of how damaging exposure to lead can be for young children,” said Quijano (D-Union). “We need to continue to educate our communities about the serious consequences lead can have on the human brain and provide them with the tools to eliminate exposure in their homes.”
The bill, which the Assembly approved 56-17-2, now awaits further Senate consideration.