[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 176 (Monday, September 11, 2000)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54858-54859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-23188]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-3482-N-09]


Requirements for Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-
Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing 
Receiving Federal Assistance; Notice of Transition Assistance

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, HUD.

ACTION: Notice of transition assistance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice describes the transition assistance that will be 
provided in connection with implementation of HUD's new requirements 
for notification, evaluation and reduction of lead-based paint hazards 
in federally owned residential property and housing receiving federal 
assistance (``Lead Safe Housing Regulation''). The Lead Safe Housing 
Regulation was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 1999, 
and becomes effective on September 15, 2000. To make certain that 
adequate service providers exist throughout the country to carry out 
lead-based paint hazard evaluation and reduction activities safely and 
effectively, and to target available resources to housing which places 
children most at risk, HUD has developed a transition assistance policy 
with three components.
    First, HUD is authorizing a six-month transition period for program 
participants in jurisdictions which notify the Department by November 
15, 2000, that they lack the capacity to implement one or more 
provisions of the Lead Safe Housing Regulation. Second, post-1960 
properties occupied by children under six receiving only tenant-based 
rental assistance will be provided a twelve month transition period. 
Third, properties receiving federal rehabilitation assistance greater 
than $25,000 that are occupied by the elderly, where no child under six 
resides or is expected to reside, will be provided a twelve month 
transition period. No submission by a jurisdiction is required in order 
for program participants to take advantage of the second and third 
transition assistance components. All three components are discussed in 
more detail in the Supplementary Information section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lead Paint Compliance Assistance 
Center, Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, Department of 
Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street, SW, Room P-3206, 
Washington, DC 20410-0500, 1-866-HUD-1012 (1-866-483-1012) (this is a 
toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may 
access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information 
Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Congress mandated the reduction of lead-based paint hazards in 
federally owned residential property and housing receiving federal 
assistance in the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 
1992 (Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992) 
(Pub. L. 101-550; 106 Stat. 3897; 42 U.S.C. 4851 et seq.), which 
amended the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (Pub. L. 91-695; 
84 Stat. 2078; 42 U.S.C. 4801 et seq.). HUD published the Lead Safe 
Housing Regulation implementing Sections 1012 and 1013 of Title X in 
the Federal Register at 64 FR 50140 on September 15, 1999. This 
regulation becomes effective on September 15, 2000.
    The Lead Safe Housing Regulation applies advances in the scientific 
understanding of childhood lead poisoning in the rehabilitation, 
treatment and maintenance of federally owned residential property and 
housing receiving federal assistance under a wide array of programs. 
The regulation also increases the quantity of testing, home 
maintenance, repair or rehabilitation work that must be performed in a 
lead-safe manner. In most areas of the country, the Department believes 
there is an adequate supply of trained contractors and licensed 
(certified) personnel to do the work required. However, in certain 
areas, the market for the services required under the regulation may 
not yet have reached the point where the requisite expertise is 
reasonably available for all programs and all requirements of the 
regulation.
    Recognizing that gaps in capacity may exist, the Department 
believes that to protect children from lead poisoning in federally 
owned residential property and housing receiving federal assistance, 
the Lead Safe Housing Regulation must become effective as scheduled on 
September 15, 2000. Under this notice, the Department is providing 
program participants with a short transition period during which the 
geographic areas lacking capacity to comply with the Lead Safe Housing 
Regulation can build that capacity and resources can be focused on the 
housing stock with the greatest need. During this transition period, 
program participants in jurisdictions qualifying for the transition 
assistance will not be expected to comply with the relevant 
requirements of the Lead Safe Housing Regulation for certain identified 
programs. Working in partnership with organizations of housing 
providers and childhood health advocates, HUD will provide funds for 
nationwide training of clearance technicians, maintenance workers, 
rehabilitation workers, program staff and others. HUD will also create 
a Lead Paint Compliance Assistance Center to respond to requests for 
training assistance from jurisdictions which have inadequate capacity. 
The Department will provide funds to defray the costs of testing for 
lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, including clearance 
testing and risk assessments in the housing choice voucher program, 
clearance testing for properties receiving federal rehabilitation 
assistance and inspections and risk assessments for HUD's project-based 
programs. HUD is issuing program specific administrative notices to all 
program participants describing the sources of funding available for 
lead-based paint inspections and other testing, and related training.

Transition Assistance

Component 1--Assistance for Jurisdictions With Inadequate Capacity

    For program participants in a particular jurisdiction to qualify 
for transition assistance based on inadequate capacity to carry out 
specific requirements of the Lead Safety Regulation, the chief elected 
official of the jurisdiction, or a senior official designated to act on 
his or her behalf (such as the official who signs the Annual 
Consolidated Action Plan

[[Page 54859]]

submitted to HUD for the jurisdiction), must submit a Statement of 
Inadequate Capacity to HUD. A jurisdiction is defined for purposes of 
this notice as a CDBG Entitlement Grantee or for non-entitlement areas, 
the State CDBG Grantee or Indian Tribe. If the jurisdiction is the 
State, the statement must be signed and submitted by the agency head 
who signs the State Annual Consolidated Action Plan submitted to HUD 
and by the agency head responsible for the EPA-authorized lead-based 
paint certification program (if the State has an EPA-authorized lead-
based paint certification program). If the jurisdiction is an Indian 
Tribe, the statement must be signed and submitted by the chief official 
of the Indian Tribe and by the individual responsible for the EPA-
authorized lead-based paint certification program (if the Indian Tribe 
has an EPA-authorized lead-based paint certification program). The 
statement submitted by a State may cover all or part of the CDBG non-
entitlement area of the State. The Statement of Inadequate Capacity 
should be circulated to and reviewed by local officials with 
responsibility for housing and public or environmental health in the 
State or locality.
    The Statement of Inadequate Capacity must be submitted to: David E. 
Jacobs, Deputy Director, Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard 
Control, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Room P-3202, 
451 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20410-0500.
    Specifically, the jurisdiction must indicate in the Statement of 
Inadequate Capacity that trained, licensed (certified) or accredited 
personnel or firms are either not available in sufficient numbers or 
are not available at a reasonable cost to make it practicable to comply 
with the Lead Safe Housing Regulation between September 15, 2000, and 
March 15, 2001. The statement must indicate the specific requirements, 
as well as the particular programs or types of assistance covered by 
the Lead Safety regulation for which capacity to comply does not yet 
exist. If the jurisdiction's claim of inadequate capacity is based on 
unreasonable cost, the statement must be documented by an analysis of 
actual bids. A sample Statement of Inadequate Capacity which HUD 
recommends jurisdictions use will be available on the HUD lead website 
at www.hud.gov/lea.
    This Statement of Inadequate Capacity from a jurisdiction must be 
received by HUD no later than November 15, 2000. At the same time the 
statement is submitted to HUD, a copy of this statement must also be 
submitted to the State agency responsible for the lead-based paint 
certification program or to the regional EPA office if EPA is operating 
the lead-based paint certification program directly.
    The jurisdiction is required to submit a Transition Implementation 
Plan with its Statement of Inadequate Capacity no later than December 
15, 2000, explaining how the jurisdiction will take the necessary steps 
to ensure that an adequate supply of personnel or contractors will be 
available by March 15, 2001. Failure to submit the plan by December 15, 
2000, will result in the rescission of the transition assistance.
    The plan must include the following: (1) An assessment of actual 
existing capacity and the additional number and type of personnel that 
need to be trained and/or certified; (2) how training will be obtained; 
(3) how assisted housing with the greatest risks and greatest 
opportunity to control lead-based paint hazards will be prioritized 
using existing personnel or contractors; (4) how coordination with the 
State agency responsible for certification of lead hazard control 
personnel will be achieved; and (5) a schedule of activities that will 
enable the jurisdiction to obtain compliance as rapidly as possible, 
but no later than March 15, 2001. Jurisdictions must agree to make the 
Transition Implementation Plan publicly available. Transition 
Implementation Plan Guidance will be available on the HUD lead website 
at www.hud.gov/lea.
    If the Statement of Inadequate Capacity from a jurisdiction meets 
all of the requirements set out in this notice, the Department will 
conclude that program participants in the jurisdiction lack the 
capacity to undertake safely and responsibly the evaluation and 
reduction of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards under the 
Lead Safe Housing Regulation and that transition assistance is needed 
to build capacity. The Department will publish in the Federal Register 
and make available on the HUD lead website at www.hud.gov/lea a list of 
the jurisdictions that have applied for transition assistance. HUD will 
conduct periodic audits of these Statements of Inadequate Capacity and 
may rescind transition assistance based on a false statement of 
inadequate capacity.
    Jurisdictions that lack capacity will not be required to comply 
with the affected requirements of the Lead Safe Housing Regulation 
during a transition period beginning on September 15, 2000 and ending 
on March 15, 2001. During this transition period, program participants 
will continue to comply with HUD's lead-based paint regulations that 
were effective before September 15, 2000. If there remains a lack of 
capacity of trained or licensed (certified) professionals to conduct 
activities under the Lead Safe Housing Regulation at the end of the 
transition period, the jurisdiction must provide for HUD approval 
supplemental documentation in the form of an updated Transition 
Implementation Plan to justify an extension of the transition period 
consistent with their Annual Consolidated Action Plan schedule.

Component 2--Phase In Period for Post-1960 Properties Receiving Tenant-
Based Assistance.

    HUD will provide a one year transition period--until September 15, 
2001--for all properties built after 1960 receiving only tenant-based 
assistance that are occupied by a child under six. During this 
transition period, program participants will continue to comply with 
HUD's lead-based paint regulations that were effective for this program 
before September 15, 2000. To receive this transition assistance, no 
submission by a jurisdiction is required.

Component 3--Phase In Period for Elderly-Occupied Properties Receiving 
Federal Rehabilitation Assistance Greater Than $25,000.

    HUD will provide a one year transition period--until September 15, 
2001--for all properties receiving federal rehabilitation assistance 
greater than $25,000 that are occupied by the elderly, where no child 
resides or is expected to reside. During the transition period, program 
participants will comply with the requirements in the Lead Safe Housing 
Regulation for federal rehabilitation assistance between $5,000 and 
$25,000. To receive this transition assistance, no submission by a 
jurisdiction is required.

    Dated: September 5, 2000.
Andrew Cuomo,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 00-23188 Filed 9-8-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4210-32-P