Cornell Cooperative Extension and Lead-Free MV Coalition Sponsor Free Forum on Lead Law Compliance
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County (CCE) and the Lead-Free MV Coalition are partnering to offer a forum on lead laws in Utica on April 26th. The free event is called “Lead Law Compliance Simplified: A Conversation with Andy McLellan.” It will be held from 6-8 PM at the thINCubator, 326 Broad Street near the Utica Train Station.
McLellan is president of Environmental Education Associates of Buffalo and an appointed representative to the NYS Governor’s Advisory Council on Lead Poisoning Prevention since 2008. He is one of the State’s most knowledgeable advocates for lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes. McLellan is also a Training Manager for EPA lead certifications, Executive Director of the non-profit Family Environmental Health Resources, Inc. (FEHR), and founder of UNYSE, an environmental investigation, design, and monitoring firm that specializes in asbestos, lead, mold and environmental hazards.
The event is being offered in response to increasing requests from area landlords for more guidance on lead laws that must be followed by those who rent and repair local properties. Since 2010, laws require individuals and firms involved in repairing pre-1978 residences and child-care facilities for rent or monetary charges to be certified in RRP, or Renovation, Repair, and Painting.
According to Helen Madden, Supervisor for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program (CLPPPP) at CCE, “Lead certification training are required by law of landlords, contractors, and other professions that deal with home repair, but they pack a huge amount of material into eight hours. The primary focus during training is on passing the test, but when these folks get back on the field they have questions about regulations, record-keeping, procedures, and issues they encounter. Hopefully, we can address some of those things on the 26th during our time with Mr. McLellan.”
The event is open to area landlords, contractors, public officials, and other interested persons from both Herkimer and Oneida Counties. In addition to the regulations, McLellan will also discuss the evolving regulatory landscape in New York State and the field of lead poisoning prevention. The session will include time for questions and answers from the public.
CLPPPP at CCE provides free lead hazard housing inspections for inner city Utica residents, lead-related educational programming for families and groups in Oneida County, and tuition assistance for people seeking RRP certification locally. “RRP is critical,” according to Madden. “Unless older paint surfaces are kept stable by owners and contractors, they become the source of lead chips and dust through everyday use and friction which, simply put, poison our kids. This can be controlled, but there are safe and unsafe methods for doing so. RRP covers the safe methods.”
Co-sponsoring the event is the Lead-Free MV Coalition, launched in April 2016 by The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc. The Coalition’s goal is to eradicate childhood lead poisoning across the two counties. Many regional homes are still found to present high lead exposures because they were constructed prior to 1978 when federal laws permanently banned lead additives in paint. The issue is most critical in communities with the highest concentrations of older housing stock, such as high-density urban areas.
Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator that provides equal program and employment opportunities. For information and to register for the free forum, call CCE at 315-736-3394 extension 251. Details are also available at www.cceoneida.com under news and events.