EPA Region 1 Focuses Efforts to Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning in the NH and ME Seacoast Area

In 2018, EPA Region 1 will focus part of its lead-based paint outreach, compliance monitoring, and enforcement activities in the New Hampshire and Maine Seacoast Area.  The cities of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine, like many in the Northeast, have some of the oldest housing in the United States and both areas are experiencing population growth.  An increase in housing demand has given rise to more home renovations that may disturb hazardous lead-based paint.  EPA Region 1 has seen a recent uptick in the number of lead-based paint complaints from this area, likely due to the increased number of home renovations.

With this initiative, EPA aims to reduce lead exposures through increased awareness of and improve compliance with the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule issued under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act.  This is the fourth such lead-based paint geographic initiative undertaken by EPA Region 1 since 2014.  While in these cities, EPA will also assess compliance with the federal Disclosure Rule where applicable and provide educational information about lead in drinking water.

The goals of this initiative are:

  • Increased compliance with the RRP Rule within the regulated community;
  • Increased awareness of the RRP Rule in the general public; and
  • Collaborating and strengthening partnerships with federal, state, and local government and community groups to help inform the public about the dangers of lead.

In coordination with the state and local officials, EPA Region 1 plans to include the following components in this initiative:

  • Provide both general and targeted outreach to the regulated community, including firms that renovate early childhood education facilities, replace windows, or perform home renovation or painting, as well as large property owners or management firms (Spring);
  • Distribute educational information to the public through press and local events (Spring);
  • Conduct approximately 40 compliance inspections of companies performing work subject to the RRP Rule (Summer).

See EPA’s press release for more information.