Contact: Elliot Schultz

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March 16, 2006

Senators Applaud Passage of SB 250

Concord , NH Senate Bill 250 passed the Senate unanimouslyby voice vote. The bill addresses lead paint point poisoning, as it clarifies enforcement procedures and the removal of the hazardous material and establishes a committee to study matters relative to lead-based substances.

This legislation allows the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to work more efficiently with property owners to address the issue of lead-based hazards and allows DHHS to be more proactive in terms of lead poisoning in children. If a property is known to contain lead based hazards, DHHS has the authority, under Senate Bill 250 to intervene before the poisoning takes place.

Currently, the law states the Commissioner of DHHS must impose administrative fines if an order to remove lead hazards is not followed, however they have no means to enforce their decisions. Under Senate Bill 250 DHHS has the ability to follow through with their decisions, and if appropriate, take harsher steps then just imposing administrative fines. Senate Bill 250 also stipulates that the removal of the lead based material must be completed within 90 days, unless the Commissioner agrees to extend the order for 60 additional days.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D- Manchester) remarked, “Lead poisoning is still a critical health problem for children. Last year there were 173 cases of lead poisoning in the city of Manchester; this was the highest number inthe state. Lead poisoning causes developmental delays and other persistenthealth problems in children. We must do everything in our power to ensure the safety of children and the fact that DHHS can be proactive rather than reactive is the solution.”

Senator Maggie Hassan (D- Exeter) added, “This legislation will allow DHHS to work more efficiently with property owners to address the issue of lead based hazards. Currently the law does not allow meaningful steps to be taken until lead poisoning has already occurred in a child and damage has been done.”

Senate Bill 250 has been sent to the House where it will await further action.