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The County is in may ways the administrative arm of the State, so many of the same policies apply:

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The TANF funds that flow from the Feds to the State then go to the County, and the county has the ability to impose controls on those funds.  Indeed, Monroe County currently has a program that identifies and rewards property owners who maintain quality housing and who wish to receive direct rent payments – they send in an inspector to ensure that the house is habitable.  But they don’t check for lead hazards. 

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We don’t need to wait for the federal or state governments to act on this – the single most effective thing that our community could do to prevent childhood lead poisoning is to add a test for lead hazards to that quality housing inspection and require that properties meet EPA standards before public money can be paid.

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We also need to provide an incentive and reward for those property owners who undertake the expense of lead hazard control.  Just as the Fed and State governments can offer tax incentives, so can the County.  We do it for businesses and high end properties all the time.  The county has an even more attractive opportunity than the state and fed governments – the county has the dreaded PROPERTY TAX.

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By the same token, the County health department also has the authority to reduce the level of blood lead that triggers a home inspection, and it has the ability to require clearance testing after county-ordered lead hazard control work.  These actions could be taken today, and children would be protected tomorrow.  Status: County HD is supportive, but needs support from county administration.

 

Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning 

Committed to ending childhood lead poisoning in Monroe County by 2010

For more information, contact:  pbrantingham@leadsafeby2010.org