§ 23-24.6-17. Lead hazard reduction.
(a) The director shall promulgate lead hazard reduction regulations. These regulations shall:
(1) Specify the circumstances under which owners of dwellings, dwelling units, or premises must undertake lead hazard reduction in order to remedy conditions that present a clear and significant health risk to occupants of the dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises;
(2) Define lead hazard reduction with respect to both the sources of lead that must be treated and acceptable and unacceptable treatment methods;
(3) Require owners to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that occupants are not present during the lead hazard reduction; variances may be granted according to regulations; provided, that the owners are not responsible for providing alternative housing. If the occupants refuse to vacate the premises after all reasonable efforts by the owner to ensure compliance within this section, then the owners are exempt from any liability arising out of the occupants' noncompliance. If the occupants are required to vacate the premises for a three (3) day period or longer, there shall be a pro-rata adjustment or abatement of the rent during the period of lead hazard reduction;
(4) Specify containment and clean up measures to be taken as part of lead hazard reduction activities;
(5) Contain measures to protect the occupational safety and health of lead inspectors, contractors, supervisors, workers, and other persons who perform lead hazard reduction which may be more, but not less, stringent than applicable federal standards; and
(6) Specify the circumstances under which owners of dwellings, dwelling units, or premises must undertake lead hazard reduction to at least the lead safe level of protect occupants and neighbors.
(b)(1) Until November 1, 2005, the owner of any dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises shall be considered as an "innocent owner", and liability as to lead poisoning is limited to the reduction of any lead hazard as determined by a comprehensive environmental lead inspection within the requirements of the Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code, chapter 24.3 of title 45. The "innocent owner" provision will cease upon the owner's unreasonable failure to correct any lead paint violation within ninety (90) days of notice as provided in that chapter. Provided, any owner who has received notices on three (3) or more properties shall be presumed to be an unreasonable failure to correct.
(2) "Innocent owner" status, and the limits on liability set forth in this subsection, shall not apply to any incident of childhood lead poisoning reported to the department on or after November 1, 2005, and liability for lead poisonings after November 1, 2005, but shall include such correction of lead hazards as may be required by this chapter.
(c) The owner of any dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises who fails to provide for lead hazard reduction as required by department regulations shall be issued a notice of violation by the director in the manner provided by the Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code, chapter 24.3 of title 45. In addition to any other enforcement authority granted under this chapter, the department shall have the authority to utilize pertinent provisions of that code in enforcing this section in the same manner as an enforcing officer under the code, including but not limited to the provisions of §§ 45-24.3-17 45-24.3-21, except that the director or his or her designee may provide a reasonable time up to ninety (90) days for the correction of any violation alleged and, except where there exists a hardship as to financing the lead hazard reduction, or where material, personnel, or weather delays the reduction completion. Except as herein provided, if after ninety (90) days following the date of issuance of a notice of violation by the department, the owner has failed to correct the lead hazards, the department shall issue a second notice of violation.
(d)(1) One or more lead paint waste depositories shall be established and be in operation by January 1, 1993. The department of environmental management shall work with the solid waste management corporation to promulgate regulations governing these lead paint waste depositories.
(2) Each lead paint waste depository may set fees to cover the costs of lead paint waste storage, reduction, consolidation, incineration, and/or out of state disposal.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 355, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 10; P.L. 2002, ch. 187, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 188, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 221, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 223, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 142, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 143, § 1.)