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HUD/HUDSEC RIN: 2501-AD77 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance; Response to Elevated Blood Lead Level (FR-5816) 
Abstract:

This proposed rule would amend HUD’s lead-based paint regulations on reducing blood-lead levels in children under age 6 who reside in federally-owned or assisted housing constructed prior to 1978.  Specifically, the rule would formally adopt the revised definition of elevated blood lead levels in children under the age of 6 based on the definition issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The rule would also establish more comprehensive testing and evaluation procedures for the housing where such children reside. In 2012, the CDC issued guidance revising its definition of elevated blood lead level in children under age 6 to be a blood lead level based on the distribution of blood lead levels in the national population. Since CDC revised its definition, HUD has applied it to funds awarded under its Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control grant program and its Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grant program, and has updated its Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing to reflect this definition. Through this rule, HUD formally adopts in regulation the CDC’s definition on elevated blood lead levels in children under the age of 6 and addresses the additional elements of the CDC guidance pertaining to assisted housing.

 

 
Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 24 CFR 35   
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d)    42 U.S.C. 4821    42 U.S.C. 4851   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Although HUD is already applying the CDC’s 2012 revised definition of elevated blood level in its lead hazard control notices of funding availability and in HUD guidelines, HUD’s Lead Safe Housing rule has not yet been updated to reflect the CDC’s revised definition of elevated blood lead levels, and to mandate adherence to this definition by owners and managers of federally-owned or -assisted pre-1978 housing requires rulemaking.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Codified in Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 35, HUD’s Lead-Based Paint regulation, commonly referred to as the Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR), is designed to reduce lead exposure in federally-owned and federally-assisted housing (or assisted housing). The LSHR implements sections 1012 and 1013 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, which is Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-550, approved October 28, 1992), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4822. Under Title X, HUD has specific authority to control lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in HUD-assisted target housing. The LSHR aims in part to ensure that federally-owned or federally-assisted housing that may have lead-based paint--most housing constructed prior to 1978, called target housing does not have lead-based paint hazards. Lead-based paint hazards are lead-based paint and all residential lead-containing dusts and soils, regardless of the source of the lead, which, due to their condition and location, would result in adverse human health effects. As reflected in the LSHR, and consistent with Title X, HUD’s primary focus is on minimizing childhood lead exposures, rather than on waiting until children have elevated blood lead levels to undertake actions to eliminate the lead-based paint hazards. This rule continues HUD’s efforts to spearhead major efforts in lead poisoning prevention by taking all actions feasible and authorized by law to reduce lead exposure in children.

Alternatives:

Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, also known as the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (the Act), prescribes specific lead-based paint hazard evaluation and reduction activities for federally-supported housing. To mandate compliance with revised elevated blood lead levels procedures requires rulemaking. While HUD issued updated guidelines in 2012 to encourage compliance with CDC’s revised guidelines on elevated blood lead levels, it takes rulemaking to require compliance with CDC’s revised definition of elevated blood lead levels in federally-supported housing.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The costs and benefits associated with the units affected during the first year of hazard evaluation and reduction activities under the final rule include the present value of future benefits associated with first year hazard reduction activities. For example, the benefits from costs expended for first year activities include the present value of lifetime earnings benefits for children living in the affected unit during the first year, whether that child continues living in that unit during the second and subsequent years after hazard reduction activities does not affect the benefit calculation, because the lowered lead exposure benefits all children under age 6 who reside there during the effective period of the hazard control measures (as noted above, typically 6 or 12 or more years). The costs of ongoing lead-based paint maintenance in units covered by this rulemaking are not considered in this analysis, because it is already required by the original Lead Safe Housing Rule for housing covered by this rulemaking.

Although many benefits of lead-based pain hazard reduction cannot be quantified or monetized, such as quality of life considerations such as adolescents’ and adults’ dissatisfaction with lower intelligence, fewer skills, reduced education and job potential, criminal behavior, unwed pregnancies, etc., HUD does not address monetized estimates of the cognitive benefits of preventing children under age 6 from developing elevated blood lead levels. Such benefits include avoiding the costs of medical treatment for children with elevated blood lead levels as well as increasing lifetime earnings associated with higher IQs for children with lower blood lead levels. In addition, blood lead levels of older children and adults living in the affected housing units would be expected to fall as a result of this rulemaking, although quantifying their blood lead changes is outside the scope of analysis for this rulemaking. Thus, the estimates of benefits represent a lower bound on the economic benefits of LBP hazard reduction because there are many other health impacts for both adults and children from lead exposure that are not quantified or monetized here. The analysis of net benefits reflects benefits over time associated with the costs incurred in the first year of hazard evaluation and reduction activities under the final rule. For example, the benefits of costs incurred in first year activities include the present value of lifetime earnings benefits for children living in the affected unit during that first year, and for children living in that unit during the second and subsequent years after hazard reduction activities.

HUD’s regulatory impact analysis published with its September 2016 proposed rule more fully addresses the costs and benefits of this rulemaking, as of the proposed rulemaking stage.

Risks:

While this rule addresses a public health issue, but poses no risk to public health, safety, or the environment.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/01/2016  81 FR 60304   
Comment Due Deadline  10/31/2016 
Final Rule  03/00/2017 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Warren Friedman
Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of the Secretary
451 Seventh Street SW,
Washington, DC 20410
Phone:202 402-7698
TDD Phone:800 877-8339
Fax:202 708-0014
Email: warren.friedman@hud.gov