We want to provide a more complete picture of our efforts to combat lead poisoning than was described in Colin Woodard’s April 9 story.

For nearly two decades, we have worked closely together to increase investments and champion policies that protect our children and families from this dangerous and too often unseen problem. Our partnership began in 1999, when we held a field hearing at Lewiston City Hall on childhood lead poisoning.

Since then, we have made great strides in reducing the lead in homes and other buildings, but much work remains to be done.

As the current chairman and ranking member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, we have continued our effort to improve lead abatement in housing. Last year, we secured significant funding to reduce lead-based hazards in the 2017 THUD funding bill.

The bill also included a provision we authored requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to lower its acceptable threshold of lead in children, allowing for an earlier lead abatement response for children living in subsidized housing. The bipartisan legislation passed the Appropriations Committee unanimously and passed the Senate with overwhelming support.

We are proud to lead Congress’ effort to reduce lead hazards, and as the appropriations process moves forward, we intend to build on this bipartisan commitment to preventing lead poisoning. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to eradicate this health threat.


U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine

chairman, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.

ranking member, THUD Appropriations Subcommittee


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