Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Health Services Agency



May 20, 2004


June 8, 2004



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Charlene A. Silva, Director of Health Services

Brian Zamora, Director of Public Health & Environmental Protection


Agreement with the State Department of Health Services for a Lead Hazard Reduction Compliance and Enforcement Program



Adopt a resolution authorizing the President of the Board to execute an agreement with the State Department of Health Services for the Lead Hazard Reduction Compliance and Enforcement Program; and


Approve an Appropriation Transfer Request (ATR) in the amount of $36,024.



Identifying and preventing children's environmental exposure to lead are key tasks in moving towards the elimination of childhood lead poisoning.


In 2003, changes in State codes designated lead hazard reduction authority to the State Department of Health Services and local jurisdictions to investigate and take actions against lead hazards. The FY 2003-04 State budget authorized $2.5 million annually to support local enforcement programs that address residential and environmental lead hazards that pose risks to children's health. Contract awards for local jurisdictions are awarded based on the proportion of housing stock that was built prior to 1980, the proportion of children living in poverty (based on 1990 census figures), and the jurisdiction's burden of childhood lead poisoning. Housing structures built before 1980 are considered to be at risk for the existence of lead hazards.


Environmental lead hazards in housing are primarily due to the presence of deteriorated lead-based paint. Because paint manufacturers did not limit the amount of lead in paint until the 1950's, housing structures built prior to 1950 are considered to be the highest risk for childhood lead poisoning. The 2000 U.S. Census figures indicate approximately 21% (54,943 units) of housing structures in the County were built prior to 1950.



The County's Environmental Health Services Division has staff certified by the State Department of Health Services to perform lead hazard risk assessments and inspections. Staff serves as the environmental assessor for the County's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) and works closely with the program's Public Health Nurse to respond to reported cases of childhood lead poisoning to ensure that sources of lead exposure are eliminated.


The Lead Hazard Reduction Compliance and Enforcement Program (LHRC&EP) agreement will expand the role of Environmental Health's staff to include environmental investigations and enforcement for children who have elevated blood lead levels and do not currently meet the eligibility criteria for case management under the CLPPP. Current medical research indicates that there is no safe blood lead level for children. The LHRC&EP will require staff to develop partnerships with local building departments, code enforcement agencies, and housing programs to provide training and implement a County-wide program to address lead hazards that are caused by construction, demolition and remodeling activities undertaken within the County. In addition, staff will respond to the existence of lead hazards within existing structures where there is not necessarily a child who has been exposed to lead. As part of the LHRC&EP, the CLPPP Public Health Educator and Community Program Specialist staff will assist to develop and conduct outreach and awareness training to the public regarding lead hazards.


Designating the Environmental Health Services Division as the lead agency for the LHRC&EP is the most efficient means for the County to utilize these funds. The Division will build on established partnerships with local code enforcement, housing and building departments and has qualified staff in place to perform lead hazard investigations.


Vision Alignment

The agreement with the State Department of Health Services keeps the commitment of ensuring basic health and safety for all and Goal # 7: maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors. The agreement with the State Department of Health Services contributes to this commitment and goal since it ensures that lead hazards created by construction and renovation projects within the County will be reduced through education and enforcement and expands services to children who have elevated blood levels that do not currently meet the criteria for case management and environmental investigation.


Fiscal Impact

The term of the agreement is February 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006. The maximum amount payable to the County under this agreement shall not exceed $108,072. Revenue and appropriations are added to the FY 2003-04 budget through the ATR in the amount of $36,024. The appropriations and revenue for FY 2004-05 will be added to the recommended budget through June revisions and will be included in the FY 2005-06 budget in the amount of $36,024 for each fiscal year. There is no net County cost.