Monterey County will receive settlement funds from a landmark suit over lead-based paint.
After nearly 20 years of hard-fought litigation, the County Counsels and City Attorneys of ten California jurisdictions have reached a settlement on behalf of the People of the State of California that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up the lead paint that poisons tens of thousands of children across California each year.
Monterey County has been part of this litigation and will receive funds in the settlement.
“Lead-based paint has posed a threat to Monterey County children for many decades,” says Monterey County Counsel Charles J. McKee. “With this historic and unprecedented settlement, Monterey County finally will have resources to address the problem at its source, by increasing education and outreach and facilitating lead paint abatement efforts.”
"The impacts of lead-based paint have created a public health crisis in our local communities and many others,” says Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo. “This settlement is a long time coming, but it was critical that we persevere to ensure significant resources will be dedicated to this crisis and that we at the local level have the flexibility to best protect children from this pervasive environmental hazard.”
Under the settlement agreement, Defendants The Sherwin-Williams Company, ConAgra Grocery Products Company and NL Industries, Inc., will pay $305 million to the Counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano, and Ventura; the City and County of San Francisco; and the Cities of Oakland and San Diego to address lead paint-related hazards.
The settlement allows the jurisdictions access to abatement funds without further delay, ends the threat of further litigation and gives cities and counties the flexibility to create more expansive, efficient, and effective clean-up programs tailored to the needs of their communities. It also allows the funds to be targeted for intervention services for children with lead poisoning.
Monterey County will receive approximately 2% of the final settlement funds which will be used to develop and implement inspection and abatement programs for residential lead paint hazards and expand lead paint testing under the existing Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
For more information on the history of the case, please visit www.sccgov.org/leadpaint.