Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation Strengthening Lead Laws

Mayor de Blasio recently signed a package of bills intended to strengthen existing lead laws, close loopholes that endanger children, and increase protections for pregnant women from the devastating effects of lead poisoning. In 2019, the City Council passed several pieces of lead-related legislation to amend Local Law 1 of 2004 (Local Law 1), also known as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. The latest legislation further strengthens Local Law 1.

Included in the package is Local Law 31 of 2020, formerly known as Intro. 9191-A. The law will become effective within 180 days, which will be in August 2020. This law was sponsored by Council Member Ritchie J. Torres, and requires that, within five years of the law’s effective date or one year of a child moving in, a thorough inspection of a dwelling unit be conducted by an EPA-certified inspector and include a specified inspection protocol. It would also require home improvement contractors to show that they are EPA-certified to ensure that they’re prepared to follow lead-based paint-related safety standards. This law amends the Administrative Code of the City of New York, in relation to investigation by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in connection with lead poisoning incidents involving pregnant women.

“The best way to ensure that lead is properly removed from homes is by having inspections and removal done by EPA-certified inspectors. Lead removal is a highly technical job that requires appropriate training and skills. This bill will protect thousands of residents and ensure that children are living in lead-free homes,” said Council Member Torres.

In addition, Local Law 28 of 2020, formerly known as Intro. 873-A, requires HPD, when conducting certain inspections, to determine whether there has been a violation of the requirement to remediate lead hazards when a unit turns over. The law establishes a presumption that a building owner who’s unable to provide a record of having completed required lead hazard remediation at turnover has violated the relevant provisions. This law will go into effect February 2021.