Environmental Protection

Mississippi to Implement EPA's Lead Renovation Program

The State of Mississippi can now administer and enforce the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation Program, according to a press release from the federal agency.

The authorization became effective April 9, when EPA received the state’s certified Renovation Authorization Application, which was submitted by Gov. Haley Barbour. Special Assistant Attorney General, J. D. Woodcock has certified that the Mississippi Program, which will be administered by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), is at least as protective as EPA’s and provides adequate enforcement. This will also enable MDEQ to administer and enforce the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Program.

“EPA appreciates Mississippi’s initiative to prevent any further lead poisoning by ensuring that work that disturbs paint is done in a lead-safe manner”, said Stan Meiburg, acting administrator for EPA Region 4. “Renovators and rental property owners play a big part in protecting children from lead-based paint hazards in their homes”.

The RRP program mandates that contractors, property managers and others working for compensation, in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, must be trained and use lead-safe work practices. They are also required to provide the lead pamphlet “Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” to owners and occupants before starting renovation work.

Lead contaminated dust is the most significant source of lead exposure for children. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, development delays and behavioral problems in young children.

For more information about Mississippi’s new program, including information on applying for certification or locating training, contact the Mississippi Lead Program at 601.961.5171 or visit www.deq.state.ms.us/MDEQ.nsf/page/Air_Lead-BasedPaint.

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