New Jersey Fights Childhood Lead Poisoning with $38 Million in Grant Funding for Nonprofits and Local Governments.
Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver have announced that over $38 million will be granted to nonprofits and local governments across New Jersey through the Lead Remediation and Abatement Grant Program.
This move is a part of the Murphy-Oliver Administration's aim to invest $180 million in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds to tackle the issue of childhood lead poisoning. The funds will be used to identify and address lead-based paint hazards in the state.
20 organizations have been selected to receive funding in the first tranche of funding, while a second, more significant tranche of funding will be announced by the end of the state fiscal year in June. Organizations proposing innovative methods of abatement and rapid response to emerging issues will have access to a separate pool of funding.
The grant funds will be utilized to remove lead-based paint hazards through abatement, encapsulation, or replacement. Encapsulation and replacement are temporary measures, while abatement provides a long-term solution to removing lead-based paint hazards. Proposals serving areas with the highest number of children under six with elevated blood lead levels will be prioritized.
The work will follow the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule from 2010. The RRP requires certified firms to perform renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. The work standards include containing the work area, avoiding high-dust-generating work practices, and adhering to a specific cleaning protocol after finishing the paint-disturbing tasks. Grantees will be required to report program data to DCA at predetermined intervals, which will be analyzed to develop best practices and potential program expansion.
DCA has provided a comprehensive guide on lead-based paint in rental dwellings, which is available on their website. Additionally, the state departments of Health and Environmental Protection have launched an expanded version of the Potential Lead Exposure Mapping (PLEM) tool that provides new publicly available data indicating potential sources of lead exposure. The tool can be found online.
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