For Immediate Release: July 14, 2006
Contact: Communication Office
BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is reminding landlords and childcare providers with facilities built prior to 1978 of their obligation to comply with requirements under the Vermont Lead Law (18 V.S.A. § 1759), to protect Vermonters from the hazards of lead poisoning.
“The Health Department has continually addressed childhood lead poisoning as a serious public health concern,” said Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN, interim commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health. “Rental properties and child care centers have to come into compliance with essential maintenance practices and eliminate the areas of risk. The number of children who are exposed to lead is still unacceptable. We won’t be satisfied until the number of children exposed is zero.”
A total of 349 children in Vermont had reported elevated blood lead levels in 2004.
Essential maintenance includes ensuring that lead-based paint and potential hazards are kept in good condition, safely repairing and stabilizing deteriorating paint surfaces and taking precautions to avoid creating lead hazards during any renovation, remodeling, maintenance or repair project.
The person completing the maintenance must take a free 4-hour Essential Maintenance Practices (EMP) class.
Property owners must file an “Affidavit of Performance of Essential Maintenance Practices” with the Vermont Department of Health and the property owner’s insurance company annually.
More than 9,000 property owners in Vermont will be receiving reminder letters from the Health Department over the course of the next several months.
If the Vermont Department of Health does not receive a completed affidavit from a property owner, the local Town Health Officer and the Assistant Attorney General at the Vermont Department of Health may pursue further action that could include civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day for continued non-compliance.
For a list of state-approved EMP classes or to request an affidavit, property owners can call 1-800-439-8550.