New York City Lead Law

New York City Dust and Debris Standards

The City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is one of few housing departments to include lead safety requirements in their contracts with rehabilitation contractors working in HUD- and city-funded rehabilitation programs.

These requirements are preventative measures that must be followed by the contractor to prevent exposure of current or future building occupants and their belongings, as well as the contractor's workers, to lead contamination. The requirements apply to activities undertaken during the contractor's renovation, painting, plumbing, electrical, or other work activities within a building built prior to 1960 that disturb intact building material and cause or have potential to cause dust, dust chips, or other construction-related debris.

The general requirements prohibit certain dangerous activities, such as grinding or sanding without a HEPA exhaust, heat gun operating above 1100 °F, open flame burning, and the like. They require the careful containment of construction debris, that wet methods be used to suppress dust generation, and that HEPA filters be used on vacuums, among other things. Notification of residents, proper setup to contain waste and construction dust, and clean-up methods are also specified.

The requirements are included in a document called "Dust and Debris Management Procedures," and are made a part of contracts between HPD and the general contractors who are hired as part of the City's ongoing rehabilitation programs.

The cost of undertaking these extra requirements has been estimated at approximately $1,000 per unit and is included as a line item in the trade payment breakdown. If the contractors do not follow the procedures, that payment may be withheld. HPD inspectors have been trained as Lead Risk Assessors, and are familiar with the Dust and Debris standards. They are responsible for inspecting rehabilitation projects and monitoring the implementation of the procedures.