tv Federal Plan to Combat Lead Exposure CSPAN January 2, 2019 3:00pm-3:30pm EST
lar our roadmap to reduce exposure. first and most fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the people, especially the most vulnerable among us. lead exposure is a calamity that disproportionately harms children in low income communities. all americans can regardless of age, race, income or home address deserve an opportunity to live in safe and healthy environments. that is why president trump in this administration are committed to tackling this problem head-on. here at eta we are combating what exposure i'm all for a in homes, schools, consumer products and drinking water. we are updating for the first time in about 10 decades. we are strengthening the dust
details specific actions, lead contaminated soil and consumer products among other sources. by focusing on the sources of a problem, we can address the contamination before it impacts children. number two, identify lead to expose children and improve their health outcomes. the plan lays out ways to expand lead testing and ensure the children identified as lead exposed to get the help and care they need and deserve. it is critical and allows health care providers to intervene sooner and improve the life outcomes of affect the children. three, communicate more effectively with stakeholders. the document identifies ways to streamline and improve dangers of lead exposure, and those with
limited proficiency. i'll say more in epa's efforts to risk communication in a minute. number four, support and conduct critical research to inform efforts to reduce lead exposure and related health risks. our goal is to generate your data and map so we can pinpoint high exposure communities and target resources to them quickly and effectively. building off of the action plan, here's what epa will do next. we will develop in epa's specific implementation plan by march of 2019. this will include performance metrics are monitoring our products and keeping ourselves accountable to the action plan. we will provide regular updates on our progress and we will continue our aggressive stakeholder engagement and outreach.
improving how we communicate risk is one of my top priorities for the agency. we must be able to speak with one voice and clearly explained to the american people the environmental and health risk that they face in their daily lives. i need some perverse communication and in my mind goes back to our response to 9/11 with some of the information the agency released around the ground zero residence in new york city ended up not being the most accurate current data. 9/11 isn't the only example. there's the reverend west virginia a few years ago, and most recently of flint, michigan which has become the poster child for our need to improve risk communication to impact event affected communities. how we communicate risk disproportionately underserved communities. they are the ones who often live, work or go to school near areas with environmental
hazards. they are most impacted by how well or how poorly we communicate risk to them. epa owes it to the american public to be able to explain in very simple and easy to understand terms what are the risks that they face in their daily lives. i've made this a priority to our regional offices and i'm proud to say we're already seeing progress. take the city of st. joseph, missouri. older neighborhoods throughout the city there are still homes covered in lead paint. from 2010 until 2015, 15% of children tested in st. joseph had elevated lead levels. that's more than three times the national average of 4% and responds of a new lead task force. they were closely with the community to increase awareness
and dangers of lead paint and help families and schools address it. as a result is decreased in recent years and are becoming or the dangers and taking steps to safeguard their children. the mayor publicly recognized this as the type of leadership inaction were trying to encourage throughout the country. and across party lines. tammy duckworth of illinois. which has several pieces of legislation designed to prevent lead exposure. she's very committed to this issue and we are working with senator duckworth and other members of congress to address this important health issue. as we move forward, it's important to remember that the u.s. has made tremendous progress reducing lead exposure over the past several decades by
strengthening laws and regulations come in the median concentration of lead in the blood of children ages one to five has dropped roughly 95% from 1976 to 2014, but more work needs to be done. the new action plan is a roadmap that will guide federal agencies in our state and local partners as we work together to protect children and improve their futures. president trump in this administration are committed to ensuring all children regardless of their dead code can live, learn and thrive in safe and healthy environments. thank you all for your time and i now have the privilege of introducing the secretary of housing and urban development, ben carson. dr. courson devoted his life's work to protect the development is the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at johns hopkins hospital, he's intimately aware of the
devastating effects of lead poisoning on a child's mental and physical development. as a nurse surgeon he transformed the lives of thousands of children for the better and that is doing the same here in washington. join me in welcoming secretary carson. [applause] >> thank you very much, acting administrator wheeler and soon it won't be acting anymore. it has been wonderful working with you and your team and they've been extremely cooperative and helpful and also delighted to be here with deputy secretary ferguson. you know, this whole initiative started when you are acting hhs and it's been wonderful working with a team as well. thank you all for joining us today. recognize some of our talented staff who are here today.
from the lead hazard control and healthy homes, our director who has worked extremely hard to bring this day about along with michele miller, peter ashley, warren friedman and kit radke along with several others. it has been a labor of intensity and love. they all do a tremendous amount of work to carry out our department lead remediation effort in to work closely with the other agencies that are here today on this federal action plan. i also want to thank secretary azar for the efforts he has fostered a long with deputy secretary hardin and the fight against environmental hazards to children's health and i look forward to building on this important work together in the
future. today we are here to unveil a federal action plan, to reduce childhood lead exposure and hud will also be announcing later on today nearly $140 million in grant funding to 48 states and local government agencies to help reflect american children and families from lead based paint. you will actually be able to see the award amount in various districts to receive them on our website later on today. lead exposure has two distinct qualities. first, it's intensity, which is so severe that it can have crippling long-term effects and second it's availability as it can go unnoticed by those who were not directly affected. that is why lead testing in
children is critically important. the earlier the detection is done, the more impact for the intervention. lead poisoning and its impact on children is uniquely personal to me. prior to becoming the hud secretary, my last work was a pediatric neurosurgeon and it was to heal, to treat and to protect the human brain. the brain which serves a very important purpose. the home of the mind and no mind is more precious or more fragile than the mind of a child. the child minus blast with nearly infinite possibilities to develop and to accomplish. you know, you think about the brain and how complex it is. hundreds of millions -- hundreds of billions of cells and
interconnections. and the ability to process more than 2 million bits of information per sec at. and we certainly, with a tool like that don't want to allow anything to happen that will decrease its ability. that is why every single one of our children is a resource for us and we must protect them. early in my medical career i discovered that they are -- there is no satisfaction greater than that of preserving and protect the mind of a child. for this reason, the treatment of children became a calling for me from dr. to neurosurgeon to achieve a pediatric neurosurgeon at hopkins. i was made acutely aware of the pernicious effects of lead poisoning on a child's mental and physical development. as a surgeon, and some of my
saddest moments came after treating a child overcoming the odds by mitigating a seemingly intractable disease and then watching that child walk out of the hospital door in many cases back to our hazardous home environment. as a.dear, my power to help that child ended the moment they walked out of that door. that leads me to our work at hud. i am committed to making sure our department's resources reach the doors of high risk american families at the prevention stage. long before the children are exposed to dangerous chemicals for which they might later need a cure. hud works of public housing authorities and private landlords across the country to provide affordable housing to approximately 5 million
households. to help ensure that children and families we serve are safe, and hud's office of control and homes provides technical guidance to our stakeholders to confront hazards to rehabilitating damaged homes such as mold, lead based paint and asbestos. earlier this year, hud announced that it would make deduction grants available to help eliminate dangerous blood raise paint hazards from lower income homes. today we are announcing the winners of those grants who are working to protect high risk american children and families. hud is also very proud to have participated in the president task force on environmental health risk and safety risk to children.
today, the task force is unveiling its blueprint. childhood lead exposure is an associated health impacts. the action plan has four goals and i will repeat them again because psychologists tell us you need to hear it three times before you remember it. [laughter] they are one, reducing children's exposure to lead sources. two, identifying lead to expose children and improving their health outcomes. three, communicating more effectively with stakeholders. and four, supporting and conduct being critical research to inform efforts to reduce lead exposure and related health threats. and all of those four goals are being done in conjunction with the other agencies. the plan will accomplish these
goals through collaborative effort and with a range of stakeholders including states, tribes and local communities along with parents, businesses and property owners. we congratulate today's winners of the lead hazard reduction grant and look forward to working with fellow task force members to enact this powerful new blueprint and doing our part to take the lead in tackling lead. with that, i would like to welcome deputy secretary hargan to the podium. [applause] >> thank you for being here. thank you for hosting us here today. administrator biller and secretary kirsten's remarks. you have to read that yourself.
so back in february, i participated in a meeting of the president task force principles in which we agreed to produce the sanction plan to discuss the goals that should be included so i'm really thrilled to be here today with all of you to mark the release of the action plan. it's been a lot of hard work. by working together with partners at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels we can continue making progress to reduce childhood exposure and the associated health effects. the action plan provides us with a roadmap to achieve that goal. secretary azar and i are proud of hhs involvement in development of the action plan. in addition to cochairing the president task force and senior steering committee, experts from across our department have been actively involved in producing the action plan and will work to implement the plan within their respective agencies. some of the subject matter experts are here today although others including those from the
cdc and the national institute of health science is part of our nih were not able to be here. but on behalf of secretary cesar and myself i'd like to thank our health experts at hhs and across the federal government for their work on this important issue. it is vital public health work. our federal partners work to reduce levels of lead contamination in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the objects we use on a daily basis. the action plan identifies ways to hhs can better participate and support this work. the action plan also contains important provisions to better identify children with high blood levels and connections to appropriate services to avoid or minimize potential long-term health consequences resulting from lead exposure. supporting these efforts are the actions identified in goals three and four of the plan. improving communication with the public on lead and supporting
research into lead exposure in addressing related health. we at hhs look forward to engaging with our partners to advance these goals. as we were to implement actions included in this plan to continue to update the public on our progress. i've asked our office of the assistant secretary which gordon is public health activities across hhs to monitor the implementation of iraq committees at hhs and the action plan and we will continue to work closely with epa, hud and other task force partners to implement the effect committees. thank you again for joining us to mark this occasion. [applause] >> would be happy to take a few questions from the press >> aria wittenberg they have cards to programs including
eliminating. can you commit to not proposing programs on the net -- [inaudible] >> there's other areas with increased funding for programs so we are moving programs around quite specifically to olivia grant program which has seen increased funding over the last two years for next year and we use that to target a lot of water infrastructure to reduce lead and contaminated pipe. so we have different programs and were shifting money around from one program to another. we unveiled new programs this fall in addressing lead pipes in schools and day care centers as well. >> and i would just add to that in looking over the last year, year and a half, you know, our budget for lead prevention activities has gone from 125 million to over $200 million.
this is an area where we will continue to place emphasis on something we hope to be eliminate. >> next question. >> alley meyer with "the associated press." children under five living in households exposed to levels of blood they require public health actions. does this include any deadlines contaminated with lead better of level of concern. does it have any extra enforcement action recommended or doesn't have any new specific mandate the communities and save should need to reduce blood levels in those homes immediately. they might have to say the action plan across the word has a number of new steps to take at least in the epa's perspective. we will have our new standards
out by june of next year and were also working on the lead and copper rule to update through despite contamination around the country and we will have our proposal out in the spring. so we are moving forward on a number of regulatory programs to reduce lead exposure in homes and the different regulatory programs envisioned different enforcement mechanisms and so forth. we are moving forward on different fronts outlined in the report for each of the agencies and departments. >> and they are also much more robust efforts underway to identify the affected children. and to not only mitigate problems in the case of that child, but other children who are around them. utilizing not as a harbinger to tell us there is more issues
related to that exposure. >> anonymously we will be monitoring as the new regulations are put out and as we continue to work on the implementation of the action plan. we will continue to monitor those numbers and to sort of notify progress as we move along from the public point of view. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> well, it's a combination of federal, state and local responsibilities and tightening those responsibilities, making sure that the housing authorities and the cities in which they reside recognized their part because the bell cannot be done at the federal level. we can certainly set out
policies in the rules, but enforcement needs to be done at the local level and we are putting in place mechanisms to make sure that does happen. [inaudible] >> that fits into another category. outside of this agency, but it does fit in the purview of the oversight that hud has in public housing in certain multifamily housing units. >> any other questions? [inaudible] i just wanted to ask, it's been announced the cdc will lower -- [inaudible] and i was wondering if administrator wheeler can say at
all about how you anticipate a change will affect existing standards for lead in soil for future roles going forward. >> we are using and working with all of our sister departments and agencies at those numbers are revised for taking a look at all of our regulatory programs and we are going forward with our new lead and copper proposal this coming spring has wallace to standards for homes by june of next year. we are taken into account all the changes as we work together. it's been a great collaboration among the federal agencies and departments in addressing the issue across the board. >> hayek, and bloomberg environment. i was looking at some of the action items in the plans and a lot of them were things that were already underway or maybe underway at the epa for several years, which as you mentioned is
the lead and copper rule although regulatory and joe's -- can you point to, you know, if you are in the action items in the plan that weren't already something that your agency or the other agencies were working on. in other words, is there anything or just a compilation of things -- [inaudible] >> combination of both. we did not want to hold back any new programs until the release of this report. with grant programs to reduce price in schools and day care centers and that is included and i would say that is new, but we went ahead and launched it this fall because we were able to launch it. we didn't want to hold up any new programs. while it has been review, i know the obama administration let data for the entire eight years of their administration.
we are getting close to coming out with a proposal in the spring. some of these have been worked on for a while but we didn't want to hold up any particular announcement of a new program just for the action plan to come out. the action plan is a continuum of everything the federal government is doing across all the agencies and departments and we didn't want to lose any time on the individual projects. [inaudible] >> i think there's quite a few new things in there and things just launched in the last 30 and 60 days that are written up in here. announcing specific milestones for the lead and copper rule, things like that while it may have been worked on for quite a while we're committing to specific time frames to get these things done. >> thank you. >> thank you all for coming. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> dates although the current government shut down. 380,000 federal workers are on unpaid leave or have been furloughed. an additional 420,000 workers who are deemed essential were working without pay. the senate is returning a 4:00 p.m. eastern time in about 30 minutes for the last day of the 115th congress. no votes are expected, but the pending business in the senate will be the government funding to and the federal shutdown, so you may hear from some