DearColleague.us

Letter

 

From: The Honorable Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Sent By:
Elizabeth.Murray@mail.house.gov

Date: 10/31/2016

Deadline: TODAY Monday, October 31, 2016 COB

Current Signers: Reps.Grijalva, Higgins, Velazquez, Cummings, Lee, Hanna, Ellison, Kaptur, Senator Durbin, Senator Warren

Dear Colleague:

 

Please join Senator Franken and I in the below letter requesting that the President of the International Code Council (ICC) support the adoption of a common-sense code change proposal from the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). This proposal would
simply require that any contractor that seeks to obtain a building permit to conduct renovations in homes built prior to 1978 include the appropriate certification as part of the permit application process to ensure that no hazardous levels of lead dust are
left behind.

 

It is already a federal requirement that all contractors be lead-safe certified yet there is no requirement that the contractor provide proof of this certification to the local municipality. Only two places in our country have passed laws that require this
proof, the City of Rochester and the State of Minnesota. Since 2011, when the Minnesota state legislature adopted this policy, the EPA has seen a 40 percent increase in contractors earning their lead safety certification.

 

The ICC met this past week in Kansas City, Missouri to discuss all proposed code changes and voting is now open for all Governmental Member Voting Representatives.  This one amendment, if adopted can significantly improve the safeguards for all children
across our nation from lead hazards.

 

I urge you to join me and Senator Franken in sending the attached letter to the President of the ICC urging him to support this proposal. For more information, or to sign on, please contact Liz Murray at  Elizabeth.Murray@mail.house.gov or
x51704.

 

Sincerely,

Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress

October XX, 2016

Alex “Cash” Olszowy III
President
International Code Council

500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, 6th Floor

Washington, DC 20001

 

Dear Mr. Olszowy,

 

We write to commend your efforts to ensure safe and healthy communities by establishing strong building standards, and to express support for a proposal before the International Code Council (ICC) that would improve protections from lead hazards. We encourage
the ICC to support this common-sense amendment to reduce lead exposure and help protect children across the country from lead poisoning.

 

The proposed amendment (ADM78-16) is narrowly tailored and based on effective policies already in place in communities across the country, including the city of Rochester, New York and the state of Minnesota. The proposal would require contractors seeking
a building permit to conduct renovations in homes built prior to 1978 to show proof of lead safety training certification from the Environmental Protection Agency or a state approved organization. This requirement would help ensure that any lead hazards are
handled appropriately by qualified contractors. Since federal guidance already requires all contractors to participate in lead safety certification, the proposal should not impose any unreasonable burdens. Rather, this amendment would help improve compliance
with existing federal regulations and level the playing field with renovators who are in compliance. Adopting this amendment would in no way make code officials responsible for enforcing the existing federal regulations.

 

Requiring proof of lead safety certification has already been successful in encouraging contractors to participate in the federally required safety training. When the Minnesota state legislature adopted a similar policy requiring contractors to show proof
of certification in order to obtain construction permits for pre-1978 buildings, the EPA saw a 40 percent increase in contractors earning their lead safety certification after the implementation of the rule in 2011.

 

Homes built prior to 1978 are far more likely to contain lead paint because the federal government did not ban consumer use of lead paint until this time. The consequences of unsafe construction practices in homes with lead paint can be disastrous, as there
is no safe level of lead exposure. In fact, children are especially at risk, since exposure has been associated with several adverse effects including behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. Despite
these known risks, lead-based paint remains the primary source of lead exposure to the approximately half a million children with elevated blood lead levels.

 

For this reason, we ask the ICC to continue their efforts to ensure safe and healthy communities, and help prevent the adverse health risks of lead exposure by adopting the amendment requiring proof of lead-safety certification.

 

 

Sincerely,