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Billion Dollar Plan to Fix Toxic Schools


In late January, Governor Tom Wolf announced that budget items totaling $1.1 billion have been allocated to combat lead and asbestos contamination across Pennsylvania. The proposal involves the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), awarding grants to schools in need of remediation. Both lead and asbestos were common building materials in past decades, and many of the state’s older school buildings were affected.

RACP

Administered by the Office of the Budget, RACP, a commonwealth grant program focuses on acquiring and constructing improvement projects in a region, whether for cultural economic, civic, historical, or recreational purposes. Such projects receive authorization in the Capital Budget Itemization Act’s Redevelopment Assistance section. Qualifying projects must have a regional impact, or affect more than one jurisdiction. Approved projects must have the ability to either generate significant increases or, at minimum, maintain present levels of tax revenue and other economic measures.

The Five Initiatives

The five initiatives in the budget comprise not only expanding RACP, but also using the CHIP Health Services Initiative. State funds would provide for project remediation. The Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Program would receive $22.5 million in funds focused on removing lead-based paint in homes. Funds are meant for low-income households with children, and will partner with social service and medical agencies.

PENNVEST grant funds would address lead in drinking water. The funds would provide grants to replace lead service lines across the state. PENNVEST wants to partner with communities to find shovel-ready projects able to start next year. The state applied for a grant to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Grant. If the Environmental Protection Agency awards this grant to Pennsylvania, the state would receive approximately $1.7 million for development and implementation of lead testing programs. This program would affect schools and childcare facilities statewide, but all testing is voluntary.

Life Free From Asbestos Danger

Most people exposed to asbestos inhale minute particles. That is why broken or crumbling asbestos fibers pose the highest risk. Some of these particles are trapped within the body, especially the lungs. In time, serious and fatal diseases may develop from asbestos exposure, including:

  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis, which is a non-cancerous respiratory illness
  • Mesothelioma, which is a rare and fatal cancer in the lining of the chest, abdomen, lungs, or heart.

It is possible that other forms of cancer are also triggered by asbestos. In his address, Governor Wolf said that Pennsylvania should be a place free of lead and asbestos. He noted the programs could potentially keep thousands of state residents’ lives healthy and free from asbestos danger.

Pennsylvania Asbestos Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Advocate for Those Exposed to Asbestos

If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need the services of the experienced Pennsylvania asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. We help clients through the difficult legal and emotional process involved with a mesothelioma diagnosis. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000 for a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.