Lead in Soil: Is Your Backyard Safer than a Hazardous Waste Site?

18 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2000

See all articles by Randall Lutter

Randall Lutter

American Enterprise Institute (AEI); AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies

Elizabeth A. Mader

AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies

Date Written: June 2000

Abstract

The environmental protection agency (EPA) mandates cleanup of lead-contaminated soil at hazardous waste sites even if concentrations of lead are many times lower than allowed by residential lead hazard standards. Thus, at sites without children, the Superfund program requires more protective cleanup than the federal government requires or recommends for backyards. Yet, children are much more likely to be exposed to lead in their own homes than at hazardous waste sites.

We recommend policies to regulate lead that would both reduce costs and improve children's health. These include setting less stringent standards for lead in soil at sites regulated under Superfund and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and allowing parties responsible for cleaning up hazardous waste sites to substitute clean up of lead dust in nearby residences. Implementing these recommendations may require Congressional action, because EPA already has the discretion to pursue a more cost-effective and environmentally sound policy but has not done so.

Suggested Citation

Lutter, Randall and Mader, Elizabeth A., Lead in Soil: Is Your Backyard Safer than a Hazardous Waste Site? (June 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.235272

Randall Lutter

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-862-7177 (Phone)

AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Elizabeth A. Mader (Contact Author)

AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-862-4876 (Phone)
202-862-7169 (Fax)

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