Philadelphia – December 22, 2016 – Senators Vincent Hughes today announced two grants totaling $125,000 to combat lead poising in Philadelphia. The grants come from state funded programs earmarked for job training and community revitalization.
Senator Hughes also announced that he would reintroduce legislation to create over $250 million in dedicated funding for lead remediation across Pennsylvania.
“We know that lead poisoning is a serious problem in both Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania,” said Senator Hughes. “Today’s grant announcement is just the start of the important work at the city, state, and federal level that must be done to address this issue. I want to especially thank Governor Tom Wolf for his support to help make these grants a reality.”
A total of $35,000 will be awarded to the Overbrook Environmental Education Center for a training program that teaches lead safety measures necessary to protect inhabitants during renovations, repairs, and painting projects in pre-1978 housing and pre-1978 child occupied facilities such as daycare centers where lead based paint will be disturbed by their work. The remainder of the funding will be awarded to the City of Philadelphia’s Lead and Healthy Homes Program, which conducts lead remediation for contaminated properties.
“For inner city children to be prepared to run the race in life they must start out on equal footing,” said City Councilman Curtis Jones, who participated in the press conference. “Overcoming lead paint poisoning starts our kids off in the race with combat boots.”
The grants, which are supported by Governor Tom Wolf, comes primarily from the Department of Economic and Community Development. It is part of a multifaceted approach by elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to address widespread exposure to lead in Philadelphia.
“In light of the long-term decrease in federal funding for lead remediation, I commend my colleagues for identify funding and introducing legislation to tackle such an important issue,” said State Representative-Elect Morgan Cephas. “Widespread exposure to lead has had a devastating effect on so many of our families and an overall long-term negative impact on our communities.”
State Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes both Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.