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Companies respond to Rhode Island lead paint plan

A lead paint cleanup plan by the state of Rhode Island has been challenged by the three companies charged with the task.

Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings have argued the plan is unnecessary because of lead paint educational programs already instituted by the state of Rhode Island, which the companies say have led to a significant decrease in lead paint cases in children over the past 10 years.

In their argument, attorneys for Sherwin-Williams called the cleanup plan "the most elaborate, invasive, gold-plated experiment in lead abatement ever conceived."

The Rhode Island Attorney General’s office has contended the multibillion-dollar clean-up provisions are necessary and unveiled last week a plan to grant $1.2 million to six state agencies that deal with lead paint education. The Attorney General’s office is “instituting a comprehensive multi-year, multimillion dollar program that includes elements of education, outreach and training, as well as remediation and enforcement of lead safety regulations,” according to a press release.

In other news, Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams recently agreed to pay the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency $50,000 to settle hazardous waste violations at seven of the company's facilities throughout the state.

According to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, between 2003 and 2005, Sherwin-Williams caused multiple containers of hazardous waste to be transported to a facility not permitted to accept hazardous waste. The company has since come into compliance, the EPA said in a news release.

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