SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse Common Council voted in favor of a new lead paint ordinance Monday afternoon.
For the first time, the ordinance will make the presence of lead a housing code violation.
Advocates say this legislation will close a major gap in enforcement and allow inspectors to implement a more proactive approach to identify lead hazards and issue citations.
This is a massive health crisis that results in lifelong developmental damage for hundreds of children every year in Syracuse. Lead poisoning also has a massive negative social and economic impact on a number of areas: our health system, educational system, and criminal justice system. What makes it even more tragic is that most of these impacts are preventable; we just have to re-evaluate the way we deal with the problem. That’s at the heart of the legislation.Councilor Joe Driscoll
The city is looking to begin implementation in October, although that could be delayed due to COVID-19.
Mayor Ben Walsh released a statement following the vote:
“I commend the Syracuse Common Council on its passage today of the Lead Abatement and Control ordinance. This is a historic step forward for the health and safety of our children and families, especially those in low income areas who deserve greater protection against the threat of lead poisoning to their health. In particular, I want to acknowledge the tireless work of 5th District Councilor Joe Driscoll who made it a personal mission to get this legislation introduced and passed. I am also thankful to the Central New York Community Foundation for its private sector leadership in addressing lead hazards. Our Administration will continue to work with the Council and our community partners in implementing the new legislation. We have the resources ready to bring on a lead paint program coordinator; continue to get our inspectors certified; and identify a laboratory to be our testing partner. Our goal is to be ready to start testing this fall, but without direct aid from the federal government as soon as possible, the fiscal impact of COVID-19 on city government will affect the timing of full implementation of the program,”Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh
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