Deputy Mayor Michelle Thomas and acting Director of the Department of Safety and Permits Pura Bascos addressed a City Council committee to discuss the permitting process for the removal of lead paint, but they didn’t have all the answers. Although a city ordinance was passed in 2001 detailing the proper procedure for the removal of lead paint from the exterior of houses, there seems to be a continuing issue with adherence to the rules.
In one of his many fine recent columns on crime, Times-Picayune columnist Jarvis DeBerry wrote (my emphases):
[New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal] Serpas and his predecessor have both struggled to explain why things are particularly bad here. [Former Superintendent] Warren Riley wondered if there isn’t something in the water.
In response to parents’ concerns about lead levels as much as 15 times the legal limit, the Orleans Parish School Board has released an updated plan to remediate a temporary site for Audubon Charter School. Dubbed the Eastbank Swing Space, the tract of land between Richard, Orange, Constance and Annunciation streets in the Lower Garden District will be Audubon’s home for two years until the Broadway campus is remodeled.
After the state took nearly a year and a half to approve a city proposal to remove lead from childcare facilities, the program is stalled with the city, where it’s sat for the past three months. Still, environmentalists are happy that the money is finally free of the state’s tight grips with hopes that work soon can start on cleaning up day-care facilities.
In my recent article about the slow release of money from the state for a program to address lead contamination across New Orleans, I wrote about arsenic levels in soil that are supposed to trigger a clean-up under state Department of Environmental Quality policy. In a document sent to me from DEQ entitled “Arsenic sampling results explained,” it reads, “In Louisiana, the DEQ residential clean-up level for arsenic is 12 ppm,” or parts per million.