In December 2013, the Santa Clara County Superior Court issued a judgment that three manufacturers of lead-based paint had actively promoted the use of lead-based paint as safe for the use in the interior of homes. Specifically, the court ruled that the defendants, ConAgra Grocery Products Co., NL Industries Inc. and Sherwin-Williams Company, were liable for damages arising out of the sale of lead-based paint before it was banned in 1978. This decision is the largest public nuisance award in the history of the State of California and comes after 16 years of vigorous litigation. As a result, the City of San Diego will be awarded funding to inspect and abate private residential structures. We anticipate enrolling properties into this program as early as May 2019.
What will these funds be used for?
The primary purpose of the funding is to remediate or remove lead hazards from the interior of privately owned residential properties. Lead paint is the primary source of childhood lead poisoning. Even small levels of lead in a child’s blood can do permanent damage including loss of I.Q. and behavior problems. SDRLAP funding will also be used for education and outreach activities.
What impact will this have on San Diego residents and local businesses?
Property Owners: At no cost to property owners, funding from this settlement is anticipated to pay for lead inspections, lead-hazard assessments, and remediation of interior lead hazards and contaminated soil. The cause of lead paint deterioration, such as roof leaks or deteriorated gutters, can also be remediated at no cost. If required, residents will be temporarily relocated during these renovations.
The design of the hazard control remediation plan will be done in collaboration with the property owner and per the requirements of the judgement. Typically, remediation of components with lead-based paint hazards (deteriorated lead based paint) will be as follows:
- Windows, window trim, doors, door trim, cabinets/shelving, and interior trim will be replaced with components equal in quality to the lead painted components they replace;
- Enclosure systems (cover and seal with impermeable materials) will be used on stairs, floors, window troughs, and wall shelves. Wall shelves and window troughs may also be replaced;
- Decorative trim components will be removed and taken off-site for stripping and repainting; and
- Walls and ceilings will be either re-painted or enclosed with drywall.
Lead in Construction Inspection Firms: The services of firms with staff certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) as Lead Inspector/Risk Assessors will be needed to conduct the lead hazard inspection services.
Lead in Construction Consulting Firms: The services of firms with staff certified by CDPH as Project Monitors will be needed to develop abatement plans and oversees the lead hazard abatement activities.
Licensed Abatement Contractors: The services of contractors with staff certified by CDPH as Lead Abatement Supervisors and Workers will be needed to conduct the lead hazard remediation activities.
The above certifications are not difficult to obtain, but the certification process can take months to complete. To learn more about obtaining state certifications visit the CDPH Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention website at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/CLPPB/Pages/LRCCertElig.aspx (link is external).
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