Lead-Based Paint: Streamline Lead-Based Paint Regulations

The New Jersey Apartment Association is supportive of initiatives that protect the health and welfare of our residents, including regulations which ensure lead-safe housing.

Our membership, in fact, has been proactive in eliminating lead-based paint where feasible, at a significant cost, and they comply with stringent federal and State regulations governing the operation of buildings with lead-based paint, including: the Federal Lead Disclosure Rule (24 CFR Part 34), Federal Lead Safe Housing Rule (24 CFR Part 35), the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (40 CFR Part 745), the New Jersey Lead Hazard and Abatement Code, and the NJ Regulations on the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings. All of these rules aim to promote primary prevention by ensuring that housing which may have lead based paint is properly maintained so as to be safe to residents.

All multifamily rental housing units in New Jersey is required to be free of lead-based paint hazards. As a testament to the effort of rental housing providers either in removing lead completely or safely maintaining it, today, very few cases of lead poisoning are sourced to professionally managed rental housing.

NJAA supported the adoption of the Lead Hazard Control Assistance Act signed into law by Governor McGreevy on January 20, 2004 and continues to support sound policies to encourage lead-safe maintenance of multiple dwellings.

Specifically, NJAA advocates for the following:

  • State regulatory agencies should take the necessary steps to become an in lieu administrator of the federal Renovation Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) rule. The federal RRP rule took effect in 2010, and has created overlapping jurisdiction in New Jersey which has its own stringent requirements governing lead safe maintenance of apartments.

  • The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) should focus its attention on areas where it can have the most positive impact on our collective goal of protecting as many children as possible from lead poisoning. Most of the lead removal that is needed can be performed through renovation and rehabilitation projects as much of this work has been shown through air monitoring to produce little or no lead dust. Unfortunately, the DCA continues to impose regulatory burdens and limits to funding under the Lead Hazard Control Assistance that directs scarce resources toward the unnecessary and wasteful abatement process.

  • The resources necessary to ensure lead safety are derived almost entirely through fees imposed on the regulated community. The Lead Hazard Control Assistance Fund and the Bureau of Housing Inspection, for example, are funded entirely through fees. Lawmakers should ensure that these resources are not inappropriately diverted to other purposes, and that sufficient staff is available to the Bureau of Housing Inspection (BHI) to begin inspections of one- and two- family rental properties for lead, as is required by state law (3+ unit properties are already inspected).

The New Jersey Apartment Association has worked with a variety of stakeholders and government agencies to ensure that regulations governing lead-based paint meet the common objective of ensuring lead-safety.  New Jersey should continue to work to improve its regulatory framework by eliminating redundant requirements and ensuring that funding is channeled to areas where it can have the most positive impact.  The NJAA looks forward to continuing this dialog and working on behalf of the regulated community to ensure that these collective goals are met.

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