The New Haven Board of Alders unanimously passed an amendment to a city ordinance Monday night that requires the Health Department to take action when a child under 6 years old has a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or greater.
The revision changes the ordinance that Mayor Toni Harp had submitted earlier this year, after multiple lawsuits were filed against the city for not enforcing existing lead laws. Shelley White, director of litigation at New Haven Legal Assistance, said the amendment clarifies the language.
“The ordinance now includes language to say that the city 'shall,' which is very important -- mandatory language, that says the city shall take all necessary actions to make determinations about lead paint hazards and to order the abatement of such hazards as necessary,” White said.
In other words, inspections and investigations will no longer be at the health department’s discretion.
The new law also requires the health director to submit policies and procedures for implementation to the Board of Alders by May 1, 2020.