Recent US Regulatory Activity
By Elizabeth O'Brien
Whilst the recommendations of the NSW Working Groups are
being looked at by the NSW Task Force on Lead in preparation for decisions
by cabinet on a management strategy, it is interesting to look at recent US
regulatory activity on lead
US Federal Legislation Pending
Lead Exposure Reduction Act 1993
Approved July 1993. Covers:
product labelling to state health risks.
mandates EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency)
to develop new use notification procedures.
restricts continued use of lead-containing products.
bans lead in most paints, toys and game pieces,
curtain weights, inks, glass coatings, packaging and lead solder used in
phase out of lead (up to 13 years) in paint used
on motor vehicle parts, and equipment used for agricultural,
construction and industrial forestry purposes.
phase out of lead (up to 5 years) in some
expressed glass coatings - architectural, automotive window, mirror
survey all lead-containing products and develop
inventory within 180 days of enactment.
develop list of exposure concerns within six years of
be notified by manufacturers, processors and importers
of lead, of new uses, or if product contains a higher concentration of
lead than allowed by EP A. Exemptions include stained glass products,
firearms and radiation shielding containers.
Excise Tax on Lead
Legislation to impose an excise tax on lead and lead
products, and create a lead abatement trust fund.
Would amend the Internal Revenue Code on these products
manufactured or imported into the United States by imposing a tax of 45
cents per pound.
Trust fund will use tax revenues to assist states and
cities in rectifying lead paint hazards in low income housing and day
Tax on Lead Produced
Another bill which imposes a flat tax as lead is produced at
the smelter was referred to Committee in June 93. Involves a levy per ton of
lead and will raise $1 billion a year which will be used to remediate lead
paint exposure after performing identification and children's medical
Federal Housing Reauthorization Act
EPA is trying to develop regulations under the Residential
Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act contained in Title X
("ten"), which focus on the concentration of lead in soil and dust
in the belief that the mere presence of residential lead based paint is not
a health hazard, and that the primary pathway for lead uptake by children is
ingestion of soil and dust. Dust exposure would form the basis for abatement
The Act also sets down the requirements for training and
certification of abatement workers and assessors. Many states are currently
proposing bills to comply with this legislation.
No New Permits for Incinerators
Last May EPA announced an 18 month freeze on new hazardous waste
incinerator permits and new controls for existing incinerators, boilers and
industrial furnaces including cement kilns. Up to 80% of the fuel used in
cement kilns is hazardous paint waste. Incinerators in the US bum more than
70% of the hazardous waste.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-toKnow Act of 1986 develops
plans for public safety following chemical accidents, provides for public
access to information on hazardous substances and inventories of hazardous
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
In 1993, more than 28,000 facilities reported information on approximately
320 chemicals to TRI. Congress expanded the TRI reporting requirements in
1990 to include data on recycling and pollution prevention activities. The
expansion of the TRI program is supported by the EPA so that communities are
able to "separate the information on chemicals in waste streams"
from "that which is actually released". TRI reporting has been
credited with exceptional reductions in toxics emissions simply because
industry is forced to measure what it is losing in its waste stream.
Pollution Prevention Act of 1990
The EPA has endorsed the pollution prevention hierarchy which includes
reuse/recycling, source reduction, treatment and disposal. Sufficient
attention must now be given to pollution prevention strategies in all
federal regulations. Also, many states have passed bills to encourage
pollution prevention, with other states such as New York considering such
Paint Waste Recycling
EPA proposed "universal waste" rule, which would exempt certain
wastes from strict hazardous waste management requirements. e.g. it proposes
to include paint wastes, such as solvent-borne waste paint as universal
waste so that such wastes could easily be diverted to encourage recycling.
Construction Workers Lead Exposure
In May 1993 the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act Construction
Industry Standard for occupational exposure to lead was promulgated. Many
states seek to protect construction workers in the same way that other
workers have always been protected by the general industry standard for lead
e.g. Virginia, Michigan, California, South Carolina and Indiana.
Proposed Legislation and Regulations States of USA
Approval of Family Day Care Homes
An emergency rule has been issued by the Massachusetts Executive Office of
Health and Human Services, Office for Children updating the standards for
the licensure or approval of family day care homes, including rules
regarding lead paint abatement.
Compulsory Blood Screening
A proposed North Carolina bill requires lead poisoning screening of pupils
prior to kindergarten and 7th grade.
Fees from industry for Blood Screening
A bill passed in 1991 by the California Legislature authorizes the
collection of "fees" from industries that have contributed or are
currently contributing to environmental lead contamination to fund a program
to screen children under the age of six for elevated blood lead levels. In
earlier drafts of the bill, it required the paint industry to contribute 47%
and the petroleum industry to contribute 53% of the total assessment. In the
final rule, this was changed to 15% from the paint and 85% from the
In California it is proposed that all state agencies are required to
purchase re-refined automotive lubricants and recycled antifreeze, solvents
Bridge Paint Removal
A New York bill makes provisions regarding bridge paint removal projects and
provides for the study of paint removal techniques.
Tax Credit for Lead Hazard Reduction
An Ohio bill (Oct 93) and a Rhode Island bill (July 93) in relation to lead
poisoning prevention create a tax credit for lead hazard reduction conducted
according to applicable regulations. Another Rhode Island bill (July 93)
provides a tax credit for homeowners for residential lead removal or
Blood Lead Screening Procedures
A Rhode Island regulation (June 93) amends lead poisoning prevention
regulations to establish environmental lead standards, procedures and
intervals for blood lead screening, procedures for laboratory testing and
reimbursement by insurers, and procedures for conducting environmental lead
inspections and/or lead hazard reduction activities.
Blood Screening Upon Parent Request
A Vermont bill (June 93) establishes a program for training and
certification of lead hazard abatement workers and makes blood lead
screening and testing of children available on request of parents.
Lead Hazards Disclosure in Sale or Lease
The same Vermont bill (June 93) provides for inspection and testing of child
care facilities and ensures that lead-based paint hazards are disclosed in
the sale or lease of pre-1978 housing.
Unlawful Discriminatory Practice
An Ohio bill (Oct 93) provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory
practice to refuse to sell or rent housing because it will be occupied by a
young child or pregnant woman and requires lead screening of certain young
A Pennsylvania bill (June 93) prohibits packaging that includes inks, dyes,
pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives containing lead,
cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which has been intentionally
introduced as an element during manufacturing. Similar bills exist in many
states. In New York a bill on Environmentally Sound Packaging (June 93)
requires packaging to be reusable or recyclable.
Employee Trip Reduction Plans
A proposed regulation by the Maryland Department of the Environment aims to
implement an employee commuter options program affecting work sites
employing 100 or more employees. The requirements of the program are for the
affected employers to conduct surveys by mid-1994 and to submit employee
trip reduction plans by November 15, 1995.
[Reference: Journal of Coatings Technology, Jul-Oct 93