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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-788

======================================================================



 
                 LEAD-SAFE HOUSING FOR KIDS ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

 July 29, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, from the Committee on Financial Services, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6309]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Financial Services, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 6309) to amend the Residential Lead-Based Paint 
Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 to define environmental 
intervention blood lead level and establish additional 
requirements for certain lead hazard screens, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Earmark Identification...........................................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     9

                               Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 
2008''.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO RESIDENTIAL LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARD REDUCTION ACT 
                    OF 1992.

  (a) Amendments.--Section 1017 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint 
Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 4852c) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``Not later than'' and inserting ``(a) In 
        General.--Not later than''; and--
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(b) Environmental Intervention Blood Lead Level and Lead Hazard 
Screens.--For purposes of this title and title III of the Lead-Based 
Paint Poisoning Prevention Act, and any regulations issued under this 
title or such title III--
          ``(1) an environmental intervention blood lead level shall be 
        defined as the lower of--
                  ``(A) the elevated blood lead level of concern for a 
                child under six years of age that has been established 
                by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; or
                  ``(B) a confirmed concentration of lead in whole 
                blood equal to or greater than 10 ug/dL (micrograms of 
                lead per deciliter); and
          ``(2) a lead hazard screen conducted as a result of a 
        reported environmental intervention blood lead level, as 
        established in paragraph (1), for any housing may include an 
        examination of toys and materials in the child's environment 
        that are likely to contain lead, except that such examination 
        shall be conducted by an appropriate agency determined by the 
        Secretary to have the ability to test such toys and 
        materials.''.
  (b) Regulations.--Not later than the expiration of the 90-day period 
beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
Housing and Urban Development shall amend the regulations of such 
Department to comply with the amendments made by subsection (a).

SEC. 3. REPORT TO CONGRESS ON PREVIOUS LEAD HAZARD INSPECTION PROGRAMS.

  Not later than the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development shall submit a report to the Congress on the status of the 
program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development known as the 
Big Buy program and any other voluntary programs the Secretary has 
implemented, or has planned to implement, through which the Secretary 
has conducted, or planned to conduct, lead evaluations of housing 
covered by section 35.715 of the Secretary's regulations (24 C.F.R. 
35.715; Lead Safe Housing Rule for pre-1978 assisted housing). Such 
report shall include the following information:
          (1) A description of the purpose of such programs implemented 
        or planned to be implemented.
          (2) A statement of the amounts allocated for each of such 
        programs.
          (3) Identification of the sources of the funding for each of 
        such programs.
          (4) A statement of the amount expended to each of such 
        programs, as of the date of the submission of the report.
          (5) A statement of the number of properties and the number of 
        dwelling units intended to be covered by each of such programs.
          (6) A statement of the number of properties and the number of 
        dwelling units actually assisted by each of such programs.
          (7) A description of the status of each of such programs, as 
        of the date of the submission of the report.
          (8) An explanation as to why each of such programs have not 
        been completed.
          (9) A description of any enforcement actions taken against 
        owners of such housing who were to have been held harmless with 
        respect to any noncompliance with section 1018 of the 
        Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (42 
        U.S.C. 4852d), or with any rules implementing such section, 
        during implementation of such programs.
          (10) A timeline for completion of the remaining properties 
        and units covered by each of such programs.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
this Act and the amendments made by this Act such sums as may be 
appropriated for fiscal year 2009.
  (b) Costs of Compliance.--This Act and the amendments made by this 
Act shall not create any obligation or requirement on the part of any 
owner of housing, public housing agency, or other party (other than the 
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development) to comply with any new 
obligations established by or pursuant to this Act or such amendments, 
except to the extent that the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development makes amounts available to such owner, agency, or party for 
the costs of such compliance.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6309, the Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2008, was 
introduced by Representative Ellison on June 19, 2008. The 
purpose of H.R. 6309 is to require the Department of Housing 
and Urban Development (HUD) to update its blood lead 
intervention regulations to reflect the level used by the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    H.R. 6309 is an expanded version of H.R. 3397, the Lead-
Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2007, also introduced by 
Representative Ellison. H.R. 3397 was marked up by the 
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity on May 14, 
2008. It was passed out of the Subcommittee on a voice vote and 
was reported to the Financial Services Committee with a 
favorable recommendation. H.R. 6309 was introduced to address a 
concern raised at markup about identified sources of lead 
contaminants other than paint. Language was added to address 
this concern. In addition, the new bill also authorizes such 
sums as may be necessary to implement the Act and requires a 
study of HUD's progress in implementing its ``Big Buy'' program 
to fund the evaluation of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 
assisted housing.
    At the markup of the Financial Services Committee, an 
amendment was adopted to address the possible new costs that 
may be associated with additional risk assessments triggered by 
lowering the environmental intervention blood lead level. The 
Committee believes that, in the event funding is not made 
available, housing providers subject to the Act are still 
required to perform risk assessments and meet any other 
requirements that would have been triggered at the 
environmental intervention blood lead level in effect prior to 
enactment of this Act.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    According to the CDC's national surveillance data, in 2006, 
1.2 percent of children living in the United States between the 
ages of one and six years had an unacceptably high level of 
lead in their blood, i.e. a level higher than 10 micrograms of 
lead per deciliter of blood. However, the percentage of 
children affected has declined from 4.4 percent in 1991-1994 to 
its current level.
    Elevated blood lead levels have been proven to result in 
learning disabilities and reduced intellectual ability. In 
addition, some studies have shown a correlation between 
exposure to lead and increased aggression, delinquent 
behaviors, and crime.
    The damage lead inflicts upon the developing brain of a 
child is irreversible. Once lead enters a child's bloodstream, 
it is stored in the bones for a minimum of 20 years. Lead can 
have long-term effects on a child's brain and nervous system, 
even after these systems have reached maturity. For example, a 
child's IQ can continue to fall as a result of lead poisoning 
even after the child's blood lead level has declined.
    Residential house paint is the most common high-dose source 
of lead in children's environments. Paints that were sold in 
the 1920s and 1930s contained as much as 50 percent lead by dry 
weight. Lead paint can be found in most housing built before 
1950 and in many houses built between 1950 and 1978. When this 
paint peels or is disturbed during renovation, it contaminates 
house dust and soil and is ingested by young children during 
normal hand-to-mouth activities. Houses built after 1978 did 
not use lead-based paint because the lead content of interior 
paint was restricted in that year.
    Children do not have to eat paint chips laced with lead-
based paint in order to be exposed to lead. Normal hand-to-
mouth behavior in a lead-contaminated home can deliver enough 
lead into a child's system to seriously damage a child's 
developing nervous system. Malnourished children are especially 
at risk for blood lead poisoning because inadequate nutrition 
increases lead absorption by the body.
    Lead is also a pervasive environmental contaminant found in 
air, water, food, and consumer products, usually at 
concentrations lower than the levels found in house paint. 
Because children do not excrete lead from their bodies very 
well, lead from all of these sources accumulates and causes 
adverse health effects.
    At least 86 percent of lead-based paint is found in homes 
constructed before 1960. About 24 million homes were 
constructed during this time period; 20 percent of these homes 
are occupied by low-income households.
    In 2001, HUD began to implement its Big Buy program, 
designed for HUD--rather than the owners--to fund evaluations 
for lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 
assisted housing. According to HUD, as of March 2006, 1,316 out 
of 3,703 eligible properties were scheduled for evaluation. Of 
the properties scheduled for evaluation, 1,023 reports were 
accepted with 932 provided to property owners. However, with 
approximately $57 million spent, the program has not been 
completed. Properties enrolled in the program are held harmless 
from compliance with the lead disclosure rule, which requires 
disclosure of the owner's knowledge of lead-based paint and 
lead-based paint hazards to tenants and owners at the time of 
lease or sale.
    In 1991, the CDC determined that a blood lead level of 10 
micrograms per deciliter is the threshold for potential damage 
in children. The CDC has made reducing lead exposure one of the 
National Health Objectives for 2010.
    In 1992, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction 
Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-550) was signed into law. The Act 
directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
to establish regulations for the evaluation of lead hazards. In 
its regulations--referred to as the Lead Safe Housing Rule 
(LSHR)--HUD established an environmental intervention blood 
lead level (EIBLL) of 20 micrograms per deciliter for a single 
test or 15-19 micrograms per deciliter for two tests taken at 
least 3 months apart.
    From 1991-1994, about 16 percent of low-income children 
living in homes built before 1946 had blood lead levels of 10 
micrograms per deciliter or greater. The risk for elevated 
blood lead levels among these children was roughly 30 times 
greater than that of middle-income and upper-income children 
living in homes built after lead was removed from house paint. 
National data show that the risk for elevated blood lead levels 
among African-American children is nearly five times greater 
than the risk for this condition among white children. The risk 
is nearly two times higher than for white children among 
children of Hispanic ethnicity.
    There is no safe level of lead for children. Adverse 
effects can still be found at blood lead levels less than 10 
micrograms per deciliter. However, according to the CDC, it has 
not lowered the blood level further because (1) no effective 
clinical interventions are known to lower the blood lead levels 
for children with levels less than 10 micrograms per deciliter 
or to reduce the risk for adverse developmental effects; (2) 
children cannot be accurately classified as having blood lead 
levels above or below a value less than 10 micrograms per 
deciliter because of the inaccuracy inherent in laboratory 
testing; and (3) there is no evidence of a threshold below 
which adverse effects are not experienced meaning that any 
decision to establish a new level of concern would be arbitrary 
and provide uncertain benefits.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held in connection with this legislation.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Financial Services met in open session on 
June 24, 2008, and ordered reported H.R. 6309, Lead-Safe 
Housing for Kids Act, as amended, to the House with a favorable 
recommendation by a voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. No 
record votes were taken in conjunction with the consideration 
of this legislation. A motion by Mr. Frank to report the bill, 
as amended, to the House with a favorable recommendation was 
agreed to by a voice vote. During the consideration of the 
bill, the following amendments were considered:
    An amendment by Mr. Ellison, no. 1, a manager's amendment, 
was agreed to by a voice vote.
    An amendment by Mrs. Capito, no. 2, regarding limitations 
on the cost of compliance, was agreed to by a voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held hearings and 
made findings that are reflected in this report.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee establishes the 
following performance related goals and objectives for this 
legislation:
    The objective of H.R. 6309 is to require the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to update its blood lead 
intervention regulations to reflect the level used by the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 16, 2008.
Hon. Barney Frank,
Chairman, Committee on Financial Services,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6309, the Lead-
Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2008.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Alexis 
Miller and Chad Chirico.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6309--Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2008

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 6309 would cost $21 
million over the 2009-2013 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues. The costs of this legislation fall 
within budget function 600 (income security). The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 6309 is shown in the following table.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2009     2010     2011     2012     2013   2009-2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        5        5        4        4        4        22
    Estimated Outlays...................................        4        5        4        4        4        21
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    H.R. 6309 would set the environmental intervention blood 
lead level (EIBLL) for a confirmed concentration of lead in a 
child under six years of age equal to or greater than 10 
micrograms of lead per deciliter. (Currently a child is 
considered to have an EIBLL if a single blood test measures at 
least 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter or two consecutive 
tests measure 15-19 micrograms of lead per deciliter.)
    Under current law, public housing authorities (PHAs) must 
conduct risk assessments of residences when children residing 
in federally supported housing are identified as having an 
EIBLL. Based on data from the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC), CBO estimates that under H.R. 6309 the number 
of public housing and voucher-assisted households with children 
designated as having an EIBLL would increase by an average of 
1,200 a year over the 2009-2013 period. Based on data from HUD, 
CBO estimates the average cost of conducting a risk assessment 
per additional household would be $800. Thus, CBO estimates 
that conducting the risk assessments would cost approximately 
$1 million a year over the 2009-2013 period.
    If the risk assessment identifies lead hazards in the home, 
landlords must put in place interim controls to mitigate those 
hazards, such as dust removal and repainting. PHAs are 
responsible for the cost of the interim controls if lead 
hazards are identified in public housing, and those costs are 
subsidized by HUD. Private landlords are responsible for the 
cost of the interim controls for lead hazards identified in 
units subsidized with rental vouchers.
    Based on information from HUD, CBO estimates that 75 
percent of risk assessments find lead hazards in the home and 
the average cost of implementing interim controls would be 
$12,000 in 2009. Based on data from HUD and CDC, CBO estimates 
that an additional 300 public housing households per year would 
need to use interim controls. Thus, CBO estimates that applying 
interim controls would cost $16 million over the 2009-2013 
period.
    H.R. 6309 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. 
Any costs to private landlords participating in the federal 
voucher program would be incurred voluntarily.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Alexis Miller 
and Chad Chirico, who can be reached at 226-2820. This estimate 
was approved by Keith Fontenot, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Health and Human Resources, Budget Analysis Division.

                      Federal Mandates Statement 

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Constitutional Authority Statement 

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional Authority of Congress to enact this legislation 
is provided by Article 1, section 8, clause 1 (relating to the 
general welfare of the United States) and clause 3 (relating to 
the power to regulate interstate commerce).

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch 

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 6309 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Short title identifying the bill as the ``Lead Safe Housing 
for Kids Act of 2008.''

Section 2. Amendments to Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction 
        Act of 1992

    Amends section 1017 of Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard 
Reduction Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 4852c) by requiring the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish an 
environmental intervention blood lead level of the lower of (1) 
an elevated blood lead level equal to or greater than 10 
micrograms per deciliter, or; an elevated blood lead level of 
concern for a child under six years of age as established by 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    States that the lead hazard screen may also include an 
examination, to be conducted by an appropriate agency as 
determined by the Secretary, of toys and materials in the 
child's environment that are likely to contain lead.
    Requires the Secretary of the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development to issue regulations within 90 days following 
the date of enactment.

Section 3. Report to Congress on previous lead hazard inspection 
        programs

    Directs the Secretary to report, within 90 days of 
enactment, to the Congress on the status of the program known 
as the Big Buy and any other voluntary programs the Secretary 
has implemented or plans to implement to conduct lead 
evaluations of housing covered by section 35.715 of the 
Secretary's regulations.

Section 4. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes such sums as may be appropriated for fiscal year 
2009 to carry out the provisions of this Act. Provides that 
owners, agencies, or other parties--excluding the Secretary--
shall only comply with Section 2 to the extent that the 
Secretary makes funding available to the owner, agency, or 
other party.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

 SECTION 1017 OF THE RESIDENTIAL LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARD REDUCTION ACT 
                                OF 1992


SEC. 1017. GUIDELINES FOR LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARD EVALUATION AND 
                    REDUCTION ACTIVITIES.

  (a) In General.--Not later than 12 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services (acting through the Director of the Centers for 
Disease Control), shall issue guidelines for the conduct of 
federally supported work involving risk assessments, 
inspections, interim controls, and abatement of lead-based 
paint hazards. Such guidelines shall be based upon criteria 
that measure the condition of the housing (and the presence of 
children under age 6 for the purposes of risk assessments) and 
shall not be based upon criteria that measure the health of the 
residents of the housing.
  (b) Environmental Intervention Blood Lead Level and Lead 
Hazard Screens.--For purposes of this title and title III of 
the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act, and any 
regulations issued under this title or such title III--
          (1) an environmental intervention blood lead level 
        shall be defined as the lower of--
                  (A) the elevated blood lead level of concern 
                for a child under six years of age that has 
                been established by the Centers for Disease 
                Control and Prevention; or
                  (B) a confirmed concentration of lead in 
                whole blood equal to or greater than 10 ug/dL 
                (micrograms of lead per deciliter); and
          (2) a lead hazard screen conducted as a result of a 
        reported environmental intervention blood lead level, 
        as established in paragraph (1), for any housing may 
        include an examination of toys and materials in the 
        child's environment that are likely to contain lead, 
        except that such examination shall be conducted by an 
        appropriate agency determined by the Secretary to have 
        the ability to test such toys and materials.