Funding Will Enable Nonprofit Organizations and Local Governments to Conduct Lead-Safe Repairs and Energy Efficiency Improvements For Thousands of New Jersey Residents and Children Exposed to Lead in their Households
MARLTON – Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver today announced the award of more than $38 million in funding to nonprofits and local governments across the state through the Lead Remediation and Abatement Grant Program. Today’s announcement is part of the Murphy-Oliver Administration’s unprecedented investment of $180 million in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the State Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 budgets to address the ongoing threat of childhood lead poisoning. This investment helps achieve the Administration’s overall goal of identifying and addressing lead hazards at scale, as called for in the lead paint hazard inspection law enacted in 2021 (P.L.2021, c.182). As hazards are identified in inspections called for by the law, these funds and grantees will be available to help homeowners and landlords address those hazards.
Grants have been awarded to 20 organizations selected in response to a Request for Proposals for the first tranche of this funding. An additional Request for Proposals for a second and larger tranche of funding will be announced prior to the end of the state fiscal year in June. An additional pool of funding will be available to high-performing agencies and to organizations proposing innovative methods of abatement and rapid response to emerging issues.
“Today marks the start of our next phase in combatting the growing crisis of lead exposure that affects far too many families in New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “This funding will allow nonprofits and local governments here in New Jersey to assist residents in their lead remediation and abatement efforts, including thousands of Black and Brown families and children who disproportionately suffer from lead poisoning. Lt. Governor Oliver and I are committed to this cause and will continue to work together to reduce these numbers.”
“This funding is creating new and equitable investments in improving people’s health and in remediating and abating lead hazards in homes across the state,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “As a result, community-based organizations will be able to conduct lead-safe repairs and energy efficiency improvements in residential units. The funding will also help build capacity within DCA and at the local government level to address lead hazards through new hires and apprenticeships, training, and seed capital to attract new community-based organizations into the field.”
“A home free of lead contamination shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a basic right guaranteed to everyone. I am proud to have voted for federal legislation that will help fund projects like this one and so many more that will work towards repairing New Jersey’s crumbling infrastructure,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “Families deserve to know with certainty that their home is safe for family members of all ages. I look forward to following this coordinated effort between state and local governments and community organizations to ensure families are safe and secure from the threat of lead poisoning.”
The grant funds will be used to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards through encapsulation, replacement, or abatement. Encapsulation and replacement are measures designed to temporarily reduce human exposure to lead-based paint hazards. Lead abatement measures provide a long-term solution to removing lead-based paint hazards from surfaces via replacement and/or repair. Priority will be given to proposals that serve areas with the highest level of need, based on the number of children under the age of six with elevated blood lead levels.
This work will follow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule from 2010. The RRP rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, childcare facilities, and preschools built before 1978 be certified by EPA (or an EPA-authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to do the work, and follow lead-safe work practices. The lead-safe work standards require renovation firms to do the following:
At predetermined intervals, grantees will be required to report program data to DCA. The Department will analyze this data to develop program best practices and to consider any potential program expansion. Among other data, DCA will collect information on the location of remediated units, type of housing, year of construction, project scope, hazard types, remediation costs per unit, etc.
The following awards were announced today:
|Agency||SFY20 Total # of Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels||Number of Pre-1978 Residential Properties (within Grantee's Service Areas)||Award Amount||Recommended Service Area(s)|
|Passaic County||355||64,597||$1,500,000||Passaic County|
|Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society||153||190,027||$1,500,000||Burlington County and Camden County|
|Greater Bergen Community Action Inc.||224||192,560||$1,341,865||Bergen County and City of Paterson|
|La Casa de Don Pedro||764||130,398||$1,600,000||Essex County|
|Native American Advancement Corp.||74||50,847||$1,122,336||Atlantic County and Cape May County|
|PROCEED||361||157,135||$3,000,000||Somerset County and Union County|
|Isles, Inc.||195||71,261||$2,000,000||Mercer County|
|Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs||55||92,195||$500,000||Morris County|
|Paterson City||95||3,813||$1,600,000||City of Paterson|
|Community Affairs and Resource Center||379||276,927||$3,100,000||Atlantic County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County|
|United Community Corporation||764||130,398||$1,200,000||Essex County|
|NORWESCAP||19||67,143||$200,000||Hunterdon County, Sussex County, Warren County|
|Puertorriquenos Asociados for Community Organization, Inc.||324||61,458||$1,000,000||Hudson County|
|City Of Plainfield||63||8,501||$1,600,000||City of Plainfield|
|Passaic City||42||5,683||$480,189||City of Passaic|
|Light Up Your World||153||190,027||$4,000,000||Burlington County and Camden County|
|Newark City||141||23,006||$1,600,000||City of Newark|
|Puerto Rican Action Committee of Southern New Jersey, Inc.||140||14,548||$3,331,017||Cape May County, Cumberland County, Salem County|
|Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Inc.||78||19,760||$1,600,000||City of Trenton|
|Gateway Community Action Partnership||158||58,606||$6,000,000||Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Salem County|
|Total Investment: $38,275,407.30|
DCA offers on its website a Guide to Lead-Based Paint in Rental Dwellings, which provides a comprehensive overview of lead-based paint hazards, how to inspect for such hazards, and how hazards can be mitigated or eliminated for compliance with P.L.2021, c.182. The five-part guide is intended to serve owners and residents of rental dwellings throughout the State of New Jersey.
Additionally, DCA, in partnership with the New Jersey Departments of Health (DOH) and Environmental Protection (DEP), recently announced the launch of an expanded version of the Potential Lead Exposure Mapping (PLEM) tool, which provides new publicly available data that indicate potential sources of lead exposure. The tool can be found here: Potential Lead Exposure Mapping (PLEM) – Housing in New Jersey (arcgis.com).
“Today we take another step in protecting our children against lead exposure and ensuring all residential properties here in New Jersey are free of lead-based paint,” said Senate Majority Leader Ruiz. “Providing the necessary funding to support remediation efforts was an integral piece of the landmark legislation we passed to require lead paint inspections during tenant turnovers and I am grateful to see those grants being distributed. No parent should have to worry about if their child is safe within their home. This has been a long time coming, but we are finally on our way towards eliminating the presence of lead paint here in New Jersey.”
“Lead paint is a hazardous compound with the potential to impact brain development and cause significant health complications. Given the prominent use of lead paint in older homes, low income families are disproportionately more likely to be impacted by lead poisoning. I want to thank the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for their substantial contribution to reduce the presence of this life threatening material," said Senator Cruz Perez.
“To fight lead poisoning in our communities, we must take a more proactive approach to ensure older homes are inspected more regularly,” said Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Benjie Wimberly, Daniel Benson, and Raj Mukherji. “Oftentimes, lead is discovered to be in the home after someone has become sick and shows symptoms. It’s too late. We can do more to protect New Jersey’s families and children from the effects of lead poisoning. This funding will go a long way in helping to reduce lead exposure in communities across the state. Preserving our residents’ health and well-being must be our priority.”
“This funding is a commitment to improving the long-term health and wellbeing of our State’s most valuable resource – our children, “ said Evesham Mayor Jaclyn Veasy. “I want to thank Governor Murphy and his administration for once again reaffirming their commitment to future generations, both here in Evesham Township and all across New Jersey.”
“Lightup Your World is an organization that lives up to its name. In our daily work, we have seen the tremendous impact that reaching out to New Jersey residents has made by explaining the benefits available to them and how they can qualify. We are grateful to be in the position to connect several New Jersey homes with the life changing resources that the state provides and the Lead Remediation Program is one of them,” said Jennifer Aigbodion, Executive Director, Lightup Your World.
“Lead paint poses great harm to children who can suffer brain damage, learning disabilities, and behavioral difficulties as a result of ingesting the paint as it ages and flakes off into dust. We applaud Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver for their commitment to the children and families in New Jersey, especially those in overburdened communities,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. “Today’s announcement is one more step toward ending lead paint poisoning in New Jersey. Through this grant, New Jersey is making a commitment that no child will have to suffer from the poisonous effects of lead paint, whether it’s the paint in their homes, or in the water they drink.”