PPHD receives federal funding toward lead abatement efforts

PPHD receives federal funding toward lead abatement efforts
April 18th, 2024 | KNEB Staff / News Release

Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) has been awarded more than $530,000 in federal funding to bolster local capacity for lead hazard reduction efforts.

The grant, provided by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), aims to empower communities to effectively mitigate lead hazards and create safer environments for residents, particularly children and families.

Lead exposure poses significant health risks, particularly for children, leading to developmental delays, learning difficulties, and other serious health issues. Recognizing the urgency of addressing this public health concern, PPHD is committed to building robust local capacity to identify and remediate lead hazards in homes.

With this grant funding, PPHD will implement a comprehensive capacity-building program including:

  • Training and Education: Build local capacity to safely and effectively address lead hazards during lead hazard control and renovation, remodeling, and maintenance activities.
  • Community Engagement: Facilitating community engagement to raise awareness about lead hazards and empower residents to take proactive steps to protect their families and neighborhoods.
  • Resource Development: Develop resources to support ongoing lead hazard reduction initiatives and ensure sustainability beyond the grant period.
  • Collaboration and Partnership: Fostering collaboration and partnerships with other organizations, such as community development, faith-based, and fair housing to leverage resources, share knowledge, and maximize impact.

By investing in capacity building, PPHD aims to create a lasting infrastructure for lead hazard reduction, equipping communities with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to address this critical public health issue.

“We are excited to receive this funding so we can further the work we are doing to help create safe homes for residents in the Panhandle,” said Kendra Lauruhn, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Coordinator with PPHD. “This funding will help us develop the opportunities to get lead remediation locally so communities can have more resources right where they live.”

Current efforts to address local lead hazard issues have included training key staff to become State of Nebraska certified Lead Abatement Risk Assessors. The staff have conducted elevated blood-lead level investigations and have conducted lead risk assessments for homes that were granted funding for building updates through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Staff can also provide community education on lead risks as trainers of the Understanding Lead Curriculum that was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Anyone currently interested in checking their homes for lead hazards can contact one of the lead assessors:

  • Kendra Lauruhn, klauruhn@pphd.ne.gov, 308-633-2866 ext. 206
  • Melissa Haas, mhaas@pphd.ne.gov, 308-487-3600 ext. 108
  • Megan Barhafer, mbarhafer@pphd.ne.gov, 308-765-1939

© 2024 Nebraska Rural Radio Association. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information