State Appeals Court Invalidates Lead Paint Law City Council to Draft New Legislation

The City Council will meet to adopt a new lead paint abatement law following a state Court of Appeals decision July 1 that invalidated the current Local Law 38. The council's Committee on Housing and Buildings will convene in mid-September to consider proposed legislation governing lead paint standards in residential buildings.

Speaker Gifford Miller has scheduled a final vote by the committee for October 2, after which the lead paint bill will be considered by the full council.

Local Law 38 was one of a series of local laws that govern how property owners address the health hazards that result from the presence of lead-based paint in residential buildings. Local Law 38, which was passed by the council in 1999 and signed into law by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, replaced Local Law 1 of 1982. New York City was the first municipality in the country to ban the sale of lead-based paint in 1960.

Out With the Old"¦In With the New

Local Law 38 was aimed at monitoring renovation projects by prohibiting dry scraping or sanding in any dwelling unit; requiring landlords to regularly inform tenants about lead safety guidelines and inquiring about the residency of children under age six; requiring building owners to apply safety precautions when preparing all vacant units; and requiring annual apartment inspections in which families with children under six live. However, the law limited violations to peeling or surface lead paint and was criticized by opponents because it lacked provisions calling for the monitoring and removal of lead dust. Additionally, while an owner was required to correct lead paint conditions, there was no mandatory time frame in which to do so.

The City Council drafted Intro 101A - the New York City Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act - in 2002 to replace Local Law 38 and attempt to correct lead-based paint hazards in housing, schools, day care facilities and playgrounds.

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