Engel Helps Introduce Bill to Eliminate Lead in Residential Buildings

Engel Helps Introduce Bill to Eliminate Lead in Residential Buildings


Congressman Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) and Congressman Jared F. Golden (ME-02) have introduced the Lead Free Future Act, H.R. 4416, which would increase federal efforts to eradicate the major sources of lead exposure in homes.


“No amount of lead exposure is safe, especially for children and pregnant women,” said Rep. Engel. “Lead exposure can impair the healthy development of babies and children, leading to behavioral and development delays. Lead paint and dust are some of most common sources of exposure in the Bronx. The problem is particularly pronounced in our public housing units. I’m pleased to join Congressman Golden on this commonsense legislation, which would significantly increase federal investment in lead-remediation efforts, helping pave the way for the first generation raised without lead exposures.”


The Lead Free Future Act would invest $12 billion over five years to remove lead hazards from housing, drinking water, and soil in residential properties built before 1978, specifically in low-to-moderate income communities. This legislation would help significantly reduce lead exposures in communities such as the Bronx.


The New York City Department of Health reports that more than half of the city’s residential buildings were constructed before 1960, the year the city banned lead-paint. Consequently, many buildings still contain lead-paint in their walls and fixtures. The Lead Free Future Act would provide federal support for lead remediation in these properties. This legislation also requires that any housing properties receiving federal assistance remove any lead-based paint or hazards before the sale or transfer of the residence.


The Lead Free Future Act builds on Congressman Engel’s work to reduce the adverse effects of lead exposure. Last Congress, he was a cosponsor of the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act, which would update federal regulations that did not permit modern techniques to identify lead hazards in homes. More recently, the Congressman cosponsored the LIFT America Act, H.R. 2741, which would increase federal funding for programs that test for lead in schools and childcare facilities. At a May 22, 2019 Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the LIFT America Act, Representative Engel asked about the negative effects of lead pipes on children’s health.