Council Passes Two Bills to Further Strengthen City’s Lead Laws

Image credit: New York City Council.

On July 13, 2023, the City Council passed Int. 193-A and Int. 200-A, two bills aimed to further improve the city’s laws to prevent lead poisoning.

Int. 193-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would classify lead-based paint that is peeling or found on a deteriorated subsurface in common areas of residential buildings where children under six years old reside as an immediately hazardous violation from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Currently, the presence of lead within a dwelling where a young child resides results in a violation; the new law extends those violations to common areas of the building as well. For this type of violation, the landlord would have 24 hours to correct the violation and face fines for every day the violation isn’t corrected. The bill also requires inspectors to check for lead-based paint in common areas in addition to dwellings. 

Int. 200-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to submit a semiannual report to the City Council and the Mayor on the number of objections to lead abatement orders issued by the Department of Health. The report must include how many objections were made specifically by the New York City Housing Authority, and to specify the reasoning for objections that had merit. This reasoning can include faulty testing or sampling, or exemptions based on construction dates. The report must also be published and publicly available on the Department of Health’s website.

Council Member Rivera stated, “New York City has some of the strongest laws and programs designed to address the ongoing crisis of lead exposure- but without adequate enforcement and comprehensive regulations, our communities are quite literally being left in the dust. Despite decades of significant advances, and the fact that childhood lead poisoning is completely preventable, too many children are still exposed to lead, and progress has plateaued. I’m proud to be passing Introduction 193 which will create an immediately hazardous violation for the existence of lead-based paint in any common area of a multiple dwelling where a child under the age of 6 resides if such paint is peeling or is on a deteriorated subsurface. Building common areas allow neighbors to gather and interact, promoting community, support systems, and a sense of belonging, and by addressing lead exposure risk in common areas, we move one step closer to a lead free NYC.”

Council Member Salamanca stated, ““Lead in paint has been proven over and over again to cause serious adverse health effects, so it is unconscionable that corners are still being cut to allow its presence in New York City housing units. With this new law, we can ensure our residents, especially those most vulnerable, will be protected from the harmful consequences of lead poisoning.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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