183517 Evaluating Rochester's innovative local lead law: Two years of progress

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rebecca Morley, MSPP , National Center for Healthy Housing, Columbia, MD
Katrina Korfmacher, PhD , Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Rochelle Ruffer, PhD , Center for Governmental Research, Rochester, NY
Maria Ayoob, MPH , Center for Governmental Research, Albany, NY
The City of Rochester, NY passed a new law in 2005 that requires inspections for lead paint hazards as part of the City's existing housing inspection process for rental housing. The law resulted from five years of extensive community organizing among a diverse coalition. When it was passed, this law was widely hailed as an innovative local approach to lead poisoning prevention using targeted interim controls. However, there were many concerns about how effectively the law would protect children and how it would affect the housing market. In order to address these concerns, the Center for Governmental Research is conducting an evaluation of the first two years of implementation of the Rochester lead law (July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2008) in partnership with the University of Rochester and the National Center for Healthy Housing. This presentation will analyze the city's inspection data, a telephone survey of and focus groups with property owners, and geographic trends in children's blood lead levels. Year 1 results indicate that most units are passing the inspections and that compliance costs are lower than anticipated. The causes of these unexpected findings will be explored during the second year of the evaluation and will be included in this presentation. Implications for replication of the law in other communities will be highlighted. In addition, we will present lessons learned about evaluation of local environmental health policies.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the approach of the Rochester lead law to childhood lead poisoning prevention and its relevance to other cities (replicability). 2. List three “unanticipated consequences” of concern when the law was passed. 3. Describe three major findings of the evaluation of Rochester’s lead law and their implications for its effectiveness. 4. Design a multidisciplinary, low-budget approach to evaluating the impacts of a local environmental health policy directed at reducing health risks in the built environment.

Keywords: Lead, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered