SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Central New York could be getting a boost in its fight against lead poisoning, following a visit to Syracuse Friday from Ben Carson, President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Carson got an earful about challenges facing a community where 11% of children test positive for lead poisoning. He believes it is an issue that can be solved.
“It’s something that if we focus on appropriately, and we do the appropriate types of treatment, we can get it under control,” said Carson at a roundtable discussion Friday.
Federal help is key to that. Already the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County have received more than $60 million since the mid-1990s to fund lead mitigation programs, and Congress has appropriated more dollars for the issue according to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus).
“We’ve increased the pot of money available for lead paint remediation, so now $9 million is the new high water mark because of the additional funding,” said Katko.
“You should aim high now,” Carson responded.
Carson said Syracuse would be a prime candidate for funds because it can be kind of a laboratory to study the impacts of lead poisoning and how to eliminate it.
“We look for places we where can get rapid results, this is one of those places, because of the cooperative spirit that is here and the very well defined problem,” said Carson.