April 14, 2016 Newark Advocate Lead test results extremely high at GHS GRANVILLE - Elevated lead levels recently found in one Granville High School drinking fountain were exceptionally high, according to documents released by the school district Thursday afternoon.
April 7, 2016 Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati sends lead pipe notice to property owners; what about tenants? Cincinnati Enquirer reports "Some Greater Cincinnati Water Works customers will or have already received letters in the mail letting them know that they may have lead water pipes leading to their homes. Cincinnati City Council's Economic Growth and Infrastructure Committee voted last week to send the letters to roughly 16,000 homeowners." What about tenants who may live in those properties? The story goes on to say "... Water Works has created an online searching tool at www.lead.myGCWW.org allowing any customer to check online to see if they have a lead service pipe leading to their property." Lead hazards in water are NOT covered by HUD Lead Disclosure rules.
March 24, 2016 Vindy.com Warren water department chemist says flush water to eliminate lead Valerie Meyers, operations supervisor and chemist at the Warren Water Treatment Plant, gave about 100 Warren G. Harding High School students an analogy to help them remember to reduce the amount of lead they consume in their water. posted March 24, 2016
March 20, 2016 Vindy.com Warren had elevated lead levels in 2008 like Sebring, but few people ever knew In 2008, before anyone knew about Flint, Mich., and Sebring having unsafe lead levels in their drinking water, Warren had them. In Sebring this past January, high lead levels caused the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to order the town to send out notices to all of its customers to warn them about it and tell them things they could do to protect themselves from lead. The notification set off dramatic measures to protect the public – bottled water, a closed school, free testing of residential water, free blood tests. Yet when Warren had lead levels in 2008 high enough for the OEPA to require the city to notify all of its customers, few people ever learned about it. posted March 20, 2016 More here
March 15, 2016 Marion Star City council votes against water test "After more than 30 minutes of discussion at the third reading, the contentious ordinance to test local water for lead failed by a 5-4 council vote. [ ] The ordinance would have involved 100 samples of water being collected and tested by Alloway, a local EPA-certified agency that Aqua Ohio uses to test water samples. Daniels said he had 'no ax to grind' with Aqua, but said independently collected sampling could be valuable, and he would gladly publicize findings of low lead levels." posted March 20, 201
March 8, 2016 vindy,com Closed-door meetings on lead included public info The Mahoning County commissioners conducted two executive sessions last week concerning lead detected in Oakhill Renaissance Place tap water, during which the discussion included health information that is in the public domain. But county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, who is the commissioners’ legal adviser, said he saw nothing improper in conducting the closed-door meetings. Gains also said the introduction of health information that’s already in the public domain into the closed-door sessions was proper because it was inextricably linked to the legal advice and labor-relations issues for which the executive sessions were called.
March 1, 2016 Vindy,com Health department gets faucet filters Because young children are most at risk from lead poisoning, tap-water samples will be tested for lead in the Oakhill Renaissance Place satellite building that houses the Head Start preschool, said Patricia Sweeney, Mahoning County health commissioner. She made her comment after elevated lead levels, meaning levels above 15 parts per billion, were found last week in water from four fixtures at Oakhill.Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said she will be inquiring of experts today as to whether Head Start needs to be checked for potential lead-paint hazards. Three of the fixtures that dispensed water with elevated lead levels were at the city health department, which is a second-floor tenant in the county-owned Oakhill, and the fourth was in fourth-floor space occupied by the county’s Department of Job and Family Services. Posted March 1, 2016 February 17, 2016cleveland.com 13 Ohio water systems are under lead advisory. See the list. Water in 13 Ohio facilities are under lead advisories. And nine of those took longer than required to notify households or provide information about the harmful effects of lead, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. February 26, 2016 Marion Star Sebring not Ohio’s only lead problem "Water providers are required to notify residents within 60 days if tests show water has elevated levels of lead. They must provide educational materials, including warnings for children and pregnant women, who are more susceptible to lead-related health problems. But seven providers, serving 8,800 residents, missed that deadline in the past year, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Only one was a public water system: the village of Sebring near Youngstown.posted February 27, 2016
February 24, 2016 Cincinnati Enquirer Analysis: Which neighborhoods have highest percentage of lead service lines Cincinnati Enquirer reports; "Local officials say what happened in Flint is not happening in Cincinnati. Water Works has a successful lead control program, creating a protective film on the inside of the lead pipes by raising the water’s pH level with lime and sodium hydroxide and adding chlorine. Water Works has never had a violation related to lead. But being informed about lead pipes, their potential danger and what a homeowner can do about them is important, Water Works officials say." OK for landlords, but what about tenants? RHINO suggests: get your children tested. Get your water tested.
posted Feburary 27, 2016
February 19, 2016 Cleveland.com 5 percent of Akron's water service lines include lead: Ohio's lead problem Lead-tainted tap water in Flint, Michigan, has roiled the nation over perceptions of failed leadership and cost-cutting. But Flint isn't alone in its lead-pipe infrastructure. Almost all American cities, including Akron have lead pipes and connections somewhere in their water supply network. Akron Water Supply Bureau Manager Jeff Bronowski told a City Council committee earlier this month that about 5 percent of Akron's 95,000 service lines include some form of lead. So, should Akronites worry that their water, too, might be contaminated with lead? The short answer is no. Though the city will notify you if you have a lead connection. Oh, did we forget to mention...Warren Ohio? On Sunday January 31, 2016 vindy.com reported Lead level 4 times higher than benchmark in Warren. While a lead level of 36 parts per billion in the water of Sebring Ohio shut down schools for three days and raised other concerns about notification to residents, a reading almost double that — 64 ppb — was found in Warren last summer. Vindy says "And there was no community outcry. Actually, two homes on Perkinswood Boulevard Southeast exceeded state limits last summer. Why no community incident as in Sebring? Hardly anyone was informed."
Posted January 31, 2016
Warren Councilman disturbed to learn the truth from the Vindy instead of his employees at the water department. February 2, 2016, vindy.com reports that Warren councilman unhappy with lack of notification to water customers regarding high lead readings "Councilman Vince Flask says he’s unhappy with the lack of notification to Warren water customers of an East Side neighborhood where two high lead readings were found last summer. He also is 'a little disappointed' that Warren’s new utilities director did not tell council members last week about the two high readings on Perkinswood Boulevard Southeast.
January 29, 2016 ohio.com Two groups of Akron water customers most at risk for toxic lead in city’s drinking water Lead in Akron’s drinking water is not a problem but it is a concern, said Willie Smith of East Akron. “This is ugly. This is ugly,” he said of the lead risk in Akron. “It’s troubling. I’m not surprised at all. Akron has a lot of older homes and that’s where these problems are most often found. … It’s something I’m really concerned about.” Smith said he learned last summer while having repairs to his water line that the line to his Chittenden Street home contained lead. He runs his tap water before using it to flush potentially lead-laced water from the lines as an extra precaution, but that can hike his water and sewer bills, Smith
posted February 2, 2016
Thanks to CodyCC
January 29, 2016, WKSU, Lead in Drinking Water Could Be a Statewide Problem The state agency is looking for more leadership from Washington in taking on lead problem Fourteen communities across Ohio currently have drinking water lead advisories in effect, including Sebring. Lead in the drinking water in the village of Sebring, Ohio may not be an isolated incident according to an Ohio EPA spokeswoman.
August 22, 2016 cleveland.com Toledo passed a law to protect its kids from lead poisoning; will Cleveland step up? Last week, Toledo became the first city in Ohio to pass a law that prevents lead poisoning in the most at-risk children by requiring home inspections of rental properties. Starting next year, the city's new "lead-safe ordinance" will require most of its rental properties—about 55,000 units-- to be inspected and deemed free from lead hazards, which can cause irreversible damage to the developing brain. A coalition of legal rights and social justice advocates, environmental nonprofits and academic institutions headed Toledo's grassroots efforts in response to the city's high lead poisoning rate. The only city in Ohio with more lead poisoning cases: Cleveland. July 6, 2016 Cleveland.com Cleveland to hire more lead poisoning investigators if income tax increase passes City of Cleveland Health Department officials said they would hire three more investigators to deal with the city's backlog of lead poisoning cases -- if a proposed municipal income tax increase comes to pass.
May 31, 2016 Toledo Blade, Toledo looks at requiring landlords to remove lead Toledo Blade is reporting on legislation designed to protect renters from lead hazards. "Toledo City Council will soon consider a new measure to require rental properties to be safe of lead hazards, one that proponents say addresses a problem threatening thousands of local children living in older rental units. The proposal, which is expected to go before Toledo City Council on June 14, would require rental properties built before 1978 to be deemed safe from lead hazards before they can be rented out to tenants. A list of certified lead-safe rental properties would be available to the public, as would a list of properties out of compliance." According to the article, landlords would be required to obtain a Lead Safe Certificate from the City-County Health Department before renting a unit. The Toledo Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition. The ordinance is based on a similar law in Rochester, N.Y. According to the article: "The Rochester measure also focuses on preventive measures and requires rental properties to be registered as lead safe before they go up for rent. In the more than 10 years since it went into effect, Rochester city officials tout an 80 percent decrease in children testing positive for elevated blood lead levels." Thanks to PatriciaB for sharing.
June 15, 2016 Updates
Kudos to the General Assembly and the Governor for moving swiftly to address lead in drinking water, but that's just one element in the problem.
Kudos to Toledo advocates for pushing a local ordinance that would require landlords to certify their properties as being "lead safe."
May 28, 2016 Vindy.com Much more work remains to protect drinking water The Ohio General Assembly acted responsibly and speedily this week in unanimously adopting legislation that inserts clear and necessary standards into state law for prompt community notification of lead or other impurities in our drinking water. The Senate on Wednesday passed House Bill 512, which ensures implementation of its provisions supported by the administration of Gov. John Kasich will not be delayed until after the long summer legislative recess. The bill tightens requirements for testing for and notification of lead in water from public systems. Residents and other users would have to be informed within two days if lead and copper levels topped allowed thresholds. The current deadline is an overly generous 30 days. Those of us in the Mahoning Valley will recall that the reforms grew out of a public-health dilemma in the village of Sebring, where a series of unconscionable games of “Who’s on First” between village and state officials delayed notification for months of excessive levels of lead in that community’s water system last fall and this winter. April 21, 2016 Mansfield News Journal Ohio EPA: Fed lead water rule needs immediate overhaul The federal rule regulating lead in water is in need of an immediate overhaul because it does not do enough to protect consumers from lead poisoning, according to the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. In an April 1 letter to the U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler criticized the federal lead and copper rule and said the federal government is not moving fast enough to fix it. "The shortcomings of the federal rule are clear and have been widely known for decades," he wrote. "It is clear to all now that the LCR is a treatment technique rule and does not prevent exposures to lead nor is it adequate in minimizing exposure to our most sensitive populations by addressing lead in schools."
April 1, 2016, Ohio moves to amend lead in water rules Here's what OEPA is proposing. Some concerns could include the insistence on notifying homeowners, not tenants who actually are water consumers. It is not clear from the one pager if tenants can ask for lead testing on a rental home's water. Also missing from the one pager analysis is any mandatory notice to local health departments. Still no initiative from Governor's office to create lead abatement funding for homes where poisoned children or to adopt a universal testing standard. Unlike Ebola or Zika, many Ohioans are at risk from lead. Stop dillydallying!
Begs the question, why wait for the General Assembly to change the law...why not just make an administrative regulation?
posted April 1, 2016
March 13, 2016 Cleveland.com Here are two Cleveland parents' questions about lead poisoning that got cut from tonight's Democratic presidential town hall in Columbus Darrick Wade kneels by the gravesite of his son, Demetrius, at Cleveland Memorial Gardens. Wade was screened to ask a Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders a question but his question didn't make the cut because of time limitations. (Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer) Shamara Henderson was thrilled when she was tapped by CNN to pose a question to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about childhood lead poisoning at tonight's Democratic presidential town hall in Columbus. But late Saturday, Henderson, who was featured in The Plain Dealer's Toxic Neglect series five months ago, said producers told her they cut her question, and her car service to Columbus, because of time constraints. CNN Producer Desiree Adib told a reporter Sunday the network ended up able to accept far fewer questions than anticipated.
"Coey is pleased with the absence of lead and copper in the city's drinking water, both from the water that comes from its water plant and the water coming from people's faucets, but he said, 'We have to be ahead of the curve a little more.' That is why Coey wants to start an educational campaign. Part of the campaign, he said, will include informing customers about the city's testing and results. It likely will use the city's Facebook page, in addition to the city's newsletter, among other platforms, to undertake the effort, Coey said." February 16, 2016 Cleveland.com Ohio legislator proposes fund source to fight lead poisoning A state representative from Mahoning County has proposed a means of propping up an unfunded state program to prevent lead poisoning. State Rep. John Boccieri, a Democrat from Poland, wants the state to dip into the rainy day fund. Boccieri cited a recent Plain Dealer article about how the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 1983 has been unfunded since its inception. Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, told The Plain Dealer that there is, nonetheless, a state lead-poisoning prevention program with a budget of around $3.8 million, with all but $1 million coming from federal grants. February 6, 2016 WKSU Ohio Environmental Council Recommends Changes in Testing Water for Lead The Ohio Environmental Council’s Trent Dougherty says the state’s system for testing water is flawed and outdated, since it only requires notifications of lead tests as requested. A notification of elevated levels is then required within 60 days on water bills or through a press release. Dougherty says samples should be taken at least once a year.
February 04, 2016 Cleveland.com Sherrod Brown holds Cleveland City Hall meeting on lead poisoning: What to watch for Friday Sherrod Brown holds meeting on lead poisoning: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will meet with federal regulators and local officials at Cleveland City Hall to discuss ways to protect Northeast Ohio residents from lead poisoning. The morning meeting follows lead-contaminated water scandals in Sebring and Flint, Michigan, as well as a Cleveland City Council investigation prompted by a Plain Dealer report on lead poisoning in the city.
February 3, 2016Toledo BladeOhio mulls water issues Lawmaker proposes infrastructure bond issue The images of bottled water being trucked into Flint, Mich., and the small northeast Ohio community of Sebring because of lead contamination in drinking water is fueling talk in Columbus about a bond issue to replace Ohio’s aging underground pipes.
February 15, 2016 WKSU More reason to keep asking questions about lead in water in Ohio "A new report by the Ohio EPA shows that 10 of 14 water systems in the state failed to properly issue advisories about lead contaminated waters to residents. The document shows that most of the systems serve less than 100 people in places where they don’t rely on the system for primary means of water. Some locations include a mobile home park near Mansfield, as well as the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. The notifications were released last week but should have been made available in October or November of last year." Feb. 15, 2016 Canton Repository Ohio’s EPA chief says new rules needed for lead in tap water Lead contamination in the tap water in Flint, Michigan, and now in a northeastern Ohio village has put a spotlight on concerns with federal standards. Federal rules for testing lead in drinking water and notifying residents when high levels are coming out of their faucets are in need of a complete overhaul, the state’s environmental agency director said. Guidelines that include allowing 60 days to pass before alerting residents to excessive lead readings don’t match the public’s expectations when it comes to safe drinking water, said Craig Butler, head of Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency. Lead contamination in the tap water in Flint, Michigan, and now in a northeastern Ohio village has put a spotlight on concerns with federal standards. February 9, 2016 Marion Star Flint crisis leads to local concern At Monday's Marion City Council meeting, At-large Councilman Josh Daniels raised concerns about the condition of local tap water, and he and other members voiced differing opinions on what should be done next.
February 5, 2016 vindy.com U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan introduces more drinking water protections U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is joining the chorus of legislators decrying the drinking water crises in Sebring and Flint, Mich. Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, and two Michigan congressmen Thursday introduced the Safe Drinking Water Act Improved Compliance Awareness Act. [ ] The legislation will strengthen requirements to have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notify the public when concentrations of lead in drinking water are above federal requirements. It requires the EPA to create a strategic plan for handling and improving information flow between water utilities, the states, the EPA and affected consumers. It also ensures consumer notification when the corrosiveness of water being transported in a lead pipe could leach into public drinking water.
More here Freddie Gray and Lead Poisoning here and here (warning pop video) 12/06/15 Plain Dealer is very plain about stopping lead poisoning Cleveland Plain Dealer writes in an editorial: "Other cities such as Rochester, New York, Philadelphia and Akron have been far more creative at developing practices that prevent the poisoning of their most vulnerable citizens. They haven't eliminated all lead hazards, but they have greatly reduced them in some cases. Most significantly, those cities have refused to use children as canaries in lead-infested apartments and houses, as Cleveland has done for years in failing to test all potentially vulnerable kids before they exhibit symptoms of lead poisoning. These cities also are teaching all of us that prevention is the best cure." State fails to enforce lead poisoning rules after Cleveland drops the ball. October 30, 2015: Cleveland.com in the series Toxic Neglect reports that State officials new that Cleveland was failing to follow up on MD reports of lead poisoning and failed in its efforts to correct the problem. The article suggests that Ohio Department of Health (ODH) had a duty to step in to do the follow ups (eg. inspect the home of the poisoned child for lead hazards), if the local health department was carrying out that duty. The article states that Cleveland had one lead risk assessor, while the surrounding Cuyahoga County had 10 risk assessors. All the while ODH was sending a stream of letters to Cleveland telling them they were out of compliance. So what happened to the poisoned homes? You guess... Does your community follow up on lead poisoning cases or does ODH let them slide? It should not be hard to find out what's going on in your community when local MD's report a case of lead poisoning to the Health Departments. Are cities following up to address lead poisoning hazards, or merely moving along, leaving the hazard in place for the next innocent victim?
October 23, 2014 Feds act on lead poisoned apartments In Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that "The federal government fined a Cincinnati apartment management company and ordered it to clean up 136 of his properties after children who lived in the homes fell ill from lead poisoning. At least five children who lived in the properties were found to elevated lead levels in their blood. Lead exposure causes reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poorer hearing, and a host of other health problems in young children.
March 3, 2014 Toledo tackles lead abatement before rental "Two nonprofit agencies and the president of Toledo City Council are pushing for a potentially controversial law that would require city property-owners to deal with lead paint in a home before it could be rented. Lead exposure, even at low levels, can cause serious problems for young children and their developing brains and bodies. Advocates for Basic Legal Equity gave the city a proposed law in November, which was reviewed Monday by officials of the Collins administration and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. “Toledo is second or third in the state, depending on the year, in the percentage of children who continue to be poisoned with lead,” said Robert Cole, a staff attorney for ABLE."