Tompkins County Calls On State To Delay Start Of New Blood Lead Levels

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The Tompkins County Legislature is criticizing the New York Department of Health for enacting new regulations about lead poisoning. Other counties have made similar critiques.

The health department sent notice in September that the new regulations would go into effect a month later on October 1.

The Tompkins County Legislature agrees that actionable blood lead levels should be lowered.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

FILE – In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, registered nurse Brian Jones draws a blood sample from a student at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

The county’s lead standards is ten micrograms-per-deciliter (mpd), lower than the current state’s level of 15 mpd, but that’s still higher than the new state levels of five mpd.

Shawna Black is a member of the legislature and on the county Board of Health. She said that Tompkins County is unusual for already using a lower than required level for action. 

Still, she takes issue with the way the state rolled out the standards. “The timeline was too short and it was yet another unfunded mandate,” Black said.

Tompkins isn’t the only one opposing the state timeline.  Some counties say they will have to hire more staff to handle the increase in cases.

The county passed a resolution asking the state to delay the start date by six months, until April 2020.