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Court reverses lead paint law decision, but issue lingers.

Over one year ago in a widely publicized pub·li·cize  
tr.v. pub·li·cized, pub·li·ciz·ing, pub·li·ciz·es
To give publicity to.

Adj. 1. publicized - made known; especially made widely known
 case, the New York Supreme Court For the highest appellate court in New York, see .
The Supreme Court of the State of New York is New York State's highest trial court, and is of general jurisdiction. There is a supreme court in each of New York State's 62 counties, although some of the smaller counties share
, 1st Department, issued a judgment that annulled New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 City's newly enacted lead-based paint law (Local Law 38). The case was immediately appealed to the Appellate Division In several jurisdictions, the Appellate Division is the name of a court, or division of a court, that hears appeals from lower courts.
  • For the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, see New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division.
, and throughout 2001 there was confusion as to which lead paint regulations were in effect.

On March 26, that decision was reversed on appeal. The Appellate Court's unanimous opinion supported what is described as the central premise of Local Law 38 - namely that monitoring and containment of lead paint, rather than total removal, reduces environmental threats to human health.

Judge John T. Buckley, in his opinion for the court, wrote: "Nullifying Local Law 38 would reinstate To restore to a condition that has terminated or been lost; to reestablish.

To reinstate a case, for example, means to restore it to the same position it had before dismissal.
 the prior lead-based paint prevention law (Local Law 1), which was based on removal, not containment, and thus pose a greater threat to public health. If affirmed, it would place the city in immediate contempt of outstanding orders in former litigations over Local Law 1, and leave the city without any effective and safe methods of dealing with the persistent lead paint hazards."

The court also found that the City Council sufficiently reviewed all salient issues including effects on the environment before crafting Local Law 38, which struck a "suitable balance of social, economic and environmental factors."

This long-awaited decision, however, did not end the controversy because a new bill, known as the New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
 Childhood Lead Poisoning lead poisoning or plumbism (plŭm`bĭz'əm), intoxication of the system by organic compounds containing lead.  Prevention Act of 2002 was simultaneously introduced by a majority of council members for enactment by the new City Council. This proposed bill, which adds significant new definitions, and new obligations and requirements on owners, would replace Local Law 38. It would put into law what the New York City Coalition to End Lead Poisoning and other public and environmental groups involved in the litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 failed to achieve in the courts.

Local Law 38 was temporarily annulled on Feb. 21, 2001. The lower court was persuaded that, apart from the universally acceptable shift from abatement to monitoring and containment, there were significant items in the former lead poisoning prevention law (Local Law 1) that were changed or eliminated when the City Council replaced it with Local Law 38. Among these were the elimination of lead dust from the definition of lead hazards, the reduction of the age of children to be monitored from under seven to under six years of age, the reduction of the amount of lead in paint before it reaches the legal definition of lead-based paint, and allowing owners to remove lead-paint violations without necessarily using the safety procedures proscribed PROSCRIBED, civil law. Among the Romans, a man was said to be proscribed when a reward was offered for his head; but the term was more usually applied to those who were sentenced to some punishment which carried with it the consequences of civil death. Code, 9; 49.  by HPD HPD Honolulu Police Department (Honolulu County, Island of Oahu)
HPD Housing Preservation and Development
HPD Housing Preservation and Development (New York City Department) 
 and the NYC NYC
New York City

NYC New York City
 Dept. of Health during the first 21 days after the violation is issued.

Judge York of the Manhattan Supreme Court found that these changes should have caused the City to conduct and issue an environmental impact study, instead of issuing a negative declaration that Local Law 38 would have no negative affect on environmental threats to human health.

The Appellate Court A court having jurisdiction to review decisions of a trial-level or other lower court.

An unsuccessful party in a lawsuit must file an appeal with an appellate court in order to have the decision reviewed.
 disagreed, and found that ample studies and debates were held before Local Law 38 was adopted. Rather than agreeing or disagreeing with the definitions, standards, rules or methodologies contained in the law, the Court felt they only had to decide on whether the record supported a full airing of arguments before the final version of the lead paint law was written.

The coalition of groups arguing against Local Law 38 in court were also arguing their case to sympathetic newly elected City Council members. The November election replaced the entire Council, and the advocates for stricter lead paint rules saw this as an opportunity to put all their ideas into law.

The proposed Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act is sponsored by 30 Council Members: Perkins, Lopez, Quinn, Reed, Boyland, Rivera, Brewer, Jackson, Liu, Yassky, Barron, Reyna, Clarke, Sanders, Recchia, Vann, Katz, Gerson, Gioia, Baez, DeBlasio, Serrano, Foster, Monseratte, Jennings, Seabrook, Davis, Addabbo, Moskowitz and Koppell. With such majority support in the Council, it is possible that New York City may have yet another lead paint law in the near future.

Significantly, the proposed new law adds provisions that would extend to all schools, day care centers, playgrounds, common areas in multiple dwelling buildings, and even to private homes.

In addition, the proposed new law would add lead dust to the definition of lead hazards, and would make the definition of lead based paint more stringent. Conditions that could cause lead dust would be added to all visual inspections. Dust clearance tests would be required as part of an owners' certificate of correction of a violation. Inspections would now look to underlying causes of deteriorated, peeling paint or evidence of friction or chipping, and require owners to correct those conditions.

Upon any vacancy or turnover, an owner would be required to make the apartment lead safe, including removing or covering all lead paint on friction surfaces of windows and doors. The New York City Department of Health's Safety Regulations would apply whenever lead hazards are repaired or abated Abated, an ancient technical term applied in masonry and metal work to those portions which are sunk beneath the surface, as in inscriptions where the ground is sunk round the letters so as to leave the letters or ornament in relief.

From 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
, and during interior demolition work - including all apartment unit renovations.

Owners would be required to provide temporary relocation of tenants during lead removal, if the work cannot be performed without risk to the tenants.

The law would raise the age of children covered back to less than seven years of age. It would require additional action by landlords each year if residents failed to respond to the annual notice inquiring if a child resides in a unit. For noncompliance noncompliance

failure of the owner to follow instructions, particularly in administering medication as prescribed; a cause of a less than expected response to treatment.

 with the distribution of notices and the inspection provisions, owners would be subject to fines and penalties, including imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.

Alcatraz Island

former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]

Altmark, the

German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist.
 for up to six months. Inspections would, in some instances, be required more frequently than once per year. Reporting and record keeping requirements would be increased.

The law would have provisions for disposal of lead paint debris. Currently, Local Law 38 has no disposal provisions.
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Author:Grant, Robert
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 10, 2002
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