Cardin offers bill to help finance lead cleanup


Americans would help finance the towering costs of finding and removing hazardous lead paint from older homes in Baltimore and elsewhere around the country by paying about $15 more for their car batteries, under legislation being introduced in Congress today.

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., said the bill he drafted would raise $1 billion a year for lead-paint abatement by levying an excise tax on continuing uses of lead.

"This legislation provides the only real cure for lead poisoning -- prevention," Cardin said in a statement.

"The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in the 1970s, but has done next to nothing to remove the 3 million tons of lead- based paint that remains in our homes. This legislation is the next step."

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., was hailed by environmentalists and health advocates.

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