Getting The Lead Out A Lead Prevention Timetable

1960: New York City becomes the first municipality in the country to ban sale of lead paint. Nationwide restrictions on the manufacture and use of lead-based paint did not come into effect until 1978.1982: Local Law 1 of 1982 - New York City's first lead paint prevention law. Required owners of multiple dwellings, in which a child or children six years of age and under reside, to remove, cover or abate any paint or similar surface coating material containing .07 milligrams of lead per sq. centimeter or greater. Additionally, abatement is required of any content of more than .05 percent of metallic lead-based paint on any surface on the interior walls, ceilings, doors, window sills, or moldings in any dwelling unit where young children reside. Owner is subject to penalties and code enforcement procedures. 1985: The New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning Inc. (NYCCELP) files a lawsuit to compel New York City to enforce the provisions of Local Law 1. Lawsuit continues for more than a decade, and New York City fights off contempt orders and fines for failure to enforce and perform lead paint abatement rules and obligations.1996: New York State Court of Appeals rules on July 1st in case of Juarez v. Wavecrest Management, establishing that New York City landlords were obligated to abate lead paint hazards in dwellings where there are small children - and could not reasonably claim ignorance of the law as an excuse. 1999: Local Law 38 of 1999: Revised lead paint law introduced by the City Council to replace Local Law 1. Local Law 38 presumes that all dwellings constructed before 1960 contain lead-based paint. The law prohibits dry scraping or sanding in any dwelling unit; requires building owners to apply safety precautions when preparing all vacant units; requires owners to provide tenants with lead safety pamphlet and questionnaire form inquiring if any children under six live in the apartment; requires owners to continue to inquire about resident children every January; requires owners to annually inspect apartments in which families with children under six live; requires specialized work practices for painting such apartments and for correcting "presumed" lead violations.2001: New York State Court of Appeals decision in the case of Chapman v. Silber, Albany, N.Y. November 15th ruling extends Juarez decision that landlords are obligated to repair or abate lead paint hazards on a statewide basis - regardless of whether the township or municipality has a local law with such an obligation - declaring that ignorance about the dangers of lead paint is not an excuse to preclude liability. 2001: On February 21st New York State Supreme Court, 1st Department, issues judgment annulling Local Law 38, citing absence of environmental impact study to address differences with Local Law 1, including the removal of lead dust from definition of a lead paint hazard. Appeal filed to Appellate Court Division.2002: In March a majority of City Council members propose the New York City Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 2002. If implemented, new law would impose tougher standards for landlord inspections, recognize lead dust as a hazardous substance, require that peeling lead paint be removed from public schools and day care facilities, require that lead-painted playground equipment be entirely removed, and require that trained workers in full compliance with federal safety guidelines perform all labor involving lead paint remediation and removal. Additionally, dust clearance tests would be required as part of an owners' certificate of correction of a violation. Inspections would examine underlying causes of deteriorated, peeling paint or evidence of friction or chipping, and require owners to correct those conditions. 2002: Decision March 26th by Associate Justice John T. Buckley, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, reinstating Local Law 38 and affirming that monitoring and containment rather than total removal and abatement of lead paint is environmentally sound.2003: Decision July 1st by state Court of Appeals invalidating Local Law 38 and leaving previous less-stringent Local Law 1 in effect. City Council forced to take action to redraft new legislation.

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