Press Releases

TDEC Awarded $4.5 Million Grant to Fight Lead Paint

Press Release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; April 5, 2011:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau will join representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and special guests on Thursday, April 7 at 1 p.m., to celebrate the receipt of a $4.5 million HUD grant awarded to the department to fund lead-based paint initiatives in the North Nashville community.

Designed to protect children and families from lead-based paint hazards, the $4.5 million Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant will assist the North Nashville community in identifying and controlling these particular hazards, with an emphasis on improving safety. TDEC’s Toxic Substances Program will administer the grant and launch outreach activities in partnership with several government and community organizations.

While there are approximately 4,000 potential homes identified in Davidson County, the grant funding is targeted for use in the North Nashville area for the next 3.5 years. North Nashville was chosen after meeting specific grant criteria including: number of rental properties, area income, children under the age of six, known lead-blood issues in children and other statistical data.

“This grant will help the North Nashville community remove harmful lead paint from impacted homes and provide the tools needed to ensure families are not at risk,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “Protecting the health of Tennessee’s children is important to Governor Bill Haslam’s administration, and I am pleased to be part of an agency that will help foster this effort.”

The project estimates mitigating lead hazards in more than 242 residential units; conducting approximately 4,800 blood-lead tests of children less than six years of age; providing lead-safe training and job readiness opportunities to 545 eligible area residents; and increasing public awareness about childhood lead poisoning.


Commissioner Bob Martineau, Environment and Conservation

John Gemmill, Field Office Director for U.S. Housing and Urban Development

Representative Mary Pruitt

Representative Brenda Gilmore

Jerry Maynard, Metro Councilman at Large

Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan, Environment and Conservation

Dr. Michael Warren, Director of Maternal and Child Health, Tennessee Department of Health

Decosta Jenkins, CEO of Nashville Electric Service

Phil Ryan, Director of Metro Development and Housing Agency

Faye Ralston, Middle Tennessee State University


Check presentation and outreach kick-off for $4.5 million Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration

grant, targeted for use in North Nashville.


Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 1 p.m.


Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Community Development Corporation

10th Avenue and Scovel Street

Nashville, TN 37208-2546

Even though lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, HUD estimates that approximately 24 million homes still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma convulsions and even death.

TDEC’s Toxic Substances Program works to protect the people of Tennessee from environmental and health hazards caused by three toxic substances: lead, asbestos and polychlorinated bi-phenyls. To learn more about the Toxic Substances Program, please visit