Friday, March 18, 2016

US Attorney Investigating Elevated Lead Levels in New York City Public Housing

US Attorney Preet Bharara is probing into the possibility that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) lied about its use of lead paint. Preet Bharara is investigating health and safety conditions in NYCHA buildings, include potentially false claims made in order to receive federal funding.

“Federal regulations require NYCHA to maintain public housing so that it is decent, safe, sanitary and in good repair,” the filing says.

Last November, the government asked the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, for information “about individuals with elevated blood-lead levels in NYCHA public housing and documents reflecting complaints of unsafe, unsanitary or unhealthful conditions.” The Department of Health, however, declined to offer any information to avoid violating health codes. After the court order signed by Federal Judge Deborah Batts, the Department of Health has been more forthright with information. NYCHA, which has given no comment, has struggled to maintain its 178,000 apartments and blames a lack of funding.

Lead is toxic to humans and found in many pre-1978 buildings.

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