Campaign to Pass Enforcement Legislation for Lead

Do you see lead paint being scraped dry, or not cleaned up? Is your landlord renovating or remediating but not handling or disposing of the lead safely? We need to push our officials to simply pass the already written legislation, giving our officials the power to enforce lead safety practices and disposal. Many landlords and contractors are ignorant of the harm, and are more focused on profit than the health of our children. Let’s clean up this mistake from the past.

Summary of information on this page:

  • legislation written, that simply needs to be passed!
  • contact information to demand action from officials to pass legislation
  • how to report unsafe lead activities / get enforcement now
  • resources for improving lead safety in your home
  • how to clean up lead / safe RRP-rated vacuums to buy
  • where to safely dispose of lead

Legislation to allow state to enforce EPA’s RRP lead safety rule

The Minnesota State Health Department (MDH) – Environmental Health Division (EHD), has worked on passing regulations/legislation that allows the state to enforce EPA RRP laws…for a long time.

The bill is: H. F. No. 2008, “A bill for an act relating to health; modifying renovation and lead hazard reduction provision; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 144.9501, subdivisions 17, 26a, 26b; 144.9505, subdivision 1h.https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF2008&ssn=0&y=2019

Demand action from your officials

Contact your representative and city council member (like below to find yours)…and other officials listed below. Here is a sample letter or ‘script’:

Hello ________,

H.F. 2008 has already been written that would allow the Minnesota Health Department (MDH) to enforce EPA RRP lead paint safety practices and hold landlords, home owners and contractors accountable if they are not safely handling and disposing of the leaded paint.

When will you PASS this already-written legislation?

I see homes in my neighborhood with lead paint chipping off and blowing into everyone’s yards. I also renovations being done on these old homes and the contractors are allowing the leaded paint to blow everywhere in the wind and from their tools. This is contaminating our soil, water, and communities.

There are so many situations where if MDH had the RRP rule enforcement authority, action could be taken to hold a landlord accountable, but currently there is nothing MDH can do in most cases.

Please let me know when this legislation will be brought for a vote, and what you will do to make sure it comes up for a vote sooner than later!

Sincerely, _____________

  • City Commissioner of Health (don’t see your city? share and we’ll add it here!)
    • Minneapolis Commissioner of Health: Gretchen Musicant, Gretchen.musicant@minneapolis.mn.gov (her office number for when officials return to office after Covid-19: 612-673-3955).

Report unsafe lead activities in your community

If your landlord is doing “abatement”, which is narrowly defined (includes replacing windows), they are subject to enforcement; however, “renovations” (RRP) are currently may not be subject to enforcement (like scraping paint/repainting). EPA’s guide on abatement vs. RRP. If you have children in the home, you will get much more assistance and more quickly and there is more than can be done to enforce the law, but we ultimately want to protect everyone. Even if there is not a child in a home currently, one could move in at any time as apartments and homes change hands. It’s really hard to address soil in the yard once it is contaminated. Bill H. F. No 2008 would improve the definitions of the types of work that can be subject to enforcement.

When you see unsafe lead handling, contact people from above, as well as:

  •   Minnesota State Health Department – Environment Health Division, Helpful Employee – Asbestos & Lead Abatement: Nathan Kleist, nathan.kleist@state.mn.us 651-201-4322

Resources

Need to clean up lead yourself?

The basics are close all vents, wet mop, vacuum, wet mop, then vacuum again, dispose safely. If you’re a contractor, there are many more practices you are required to follow, but for the tenant caught off guard, those are the basics.

A proper vacuum for cleaning up lead paint chips and dust will be designed so that the canister or barrel, is sealed with a gasket.  The gasket ensures that lead dust does not escape the canister and go back into your living space as air moves through the system. The gasket ensures that air being sucked into the canister is forced to go through the filters as designed. HEPA filters ensure that lead dust is captured within the system, and can be disposed of safely.

  • Home vacuum with HEPA: Miele Compact C2 Electro+ for a home vacuum
  • Shop vacuum (wet/dry) with HEPA: Nilfisk Aero 21 model# 107418440, or Aero 26 model# 107419097 (which has an outlet to plug in power tools right into the vacuum – check with the manufacture of the power tools being used to ensure they are compatible). The Dustless Tools model D1606 is also an option, but is twice as heavy.
  • Get drill bubbles to capture dust when drilling holes into walls that might have layers of lead paint from Dustless Tools. I’d prefer to use a drill shroud, but the Dustless Tools drill shroud doesn’t work with the vacs above.

Disposal

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MnPCA) regulates disposal of hazardous waste and lead-based paint (LBP) debris https://www.pca.state.mn.us/search?query=lead%20paint%20disposal. According to MnPCA, “lead paint abatement waste” generated by a resident, from a residence, can be disposed of as household hazardous waste.  This may also depend on the quantity and frequency of disposal.

If you have information about disposal in your county, contact us and we’ll add it here.

  • Hennepin County green disposal guide.  Both Bloomington and Brooklyn Park facilities are listed as disposal sites.
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