Assembly passes Acosta and Voas’ lead hazard mitigation bill


            STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today passed legislation (2023-S 0656A, 2023-H 5946A) sponsored by Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) and Rep. Brandon T. Voas (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) which would require lead hazard mitigation for pre-1978 rental dwelling units.

            “Lead poisoning, particularly with children, is still a serious and pervasive problem in Rhode Island that needs to be corrected and this bill will close a loophole that allowed too many old buildings to continue to poison our residents. With the passage of this bill and other similar pieces of legislation, I am eager to see the tragic stories of lead poisoning end as we eliminate the dangers of lead from Rhode Island once and for all,” said Senator Acosta.

            “The dangers of lead, especially to children, are well-known and non-debatable, which makes the fact that kids are still being poisoned by lead in Rhode Island all the more frustrating.  This bill eliminates a loophole that has allowed lead to persist in our state’s housing stock which will protect current and future children from the devastating effects of lead poisoning,” said Representative Voas.

            The legislation removes the exemption from owner occupied two- or three-unit homes, allowing the state to enforce the Lead Hazard Mitigation Act.  This act would take effect on January 1, 2024.

            The bill now heads to the governor for consideration.