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EPA Accepts Obama Proposal to Eliminate Lead Paint from Schools, Childcare Facilities

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

EPA Accepts Obama Proposal to Eliminate Lead Paint from Schools, Childcare Facilities

Since 2005, Obama has worked to force the EPA to issue new rules on lead paint

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to require lead-safe practices during the renovation and repair of housing, child-care facilities, and schools:

"After more than a decade, the EPA has missed an important opportunity in issuing this new rule. Although I am pleased the agency accepted my proposal to extend this rule to schools and child-care facilities, today's action falls far short of what could have been done to protect our nation's children. The regulation provides a loophole for homeowners to opt out of the rule, possibly endangering children and expectant mothers, and it also fails to require stringent standards to verify that lead dust stirred up during renovation activities is removed afterwards. I intend to work with my colleagues on legislation to strengthen this rule."

For three years, Obama has worked to force EPA to protect children from harmful lead poisoning. The EPA rule announced today was first mandated by Congress in 1992 and should have fully implemented by 1996. However, the proposed rule was not published until December 2005, after Obama threatened to block the confirmation of a high-ranking EPA nominee, and passed an amendment to stop EPA from delaying the rulemaking process. In 2006, Obama introduced the Lead Poisoning Reduction Act of 2006 (S. 3969) to require all child care facilities that are outside of the home to be certified lead-safe in five years.

Since 2005, Obama has worked with Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Henry Waxman to call on EPA to issue these rules.

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