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Yet another reason Sen. Barack Obama makes all the ladies swoonâ€¦
He announced on Friday that he will block all of President Bush's nominees to major positions in the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) -- until the organization releases long-overdue regulations limiting people's lead paint exposure during home remodeling.
The smooth-talking senator's ultimatum appears to have worked -- sort-of. An EPA spokesperson claims the group will issue the regulations before the end of the year, but Obama says he won't back down until he sees it in writing.
What's all the fuss about? According to the EPA itself: "Nearly 5 million households carry the risk of lead exposure if home repairs and renovations aren't done carefullyâ€¦ about 1.4 million children under the age of 7 could be affected."
So why has nothing been done? Back in 1992, Congress ordered the EPA to issue regulations "governing home renovationsâ€¦that involve tearing out ceilings, walls and other fixtures covered with lead-based paint," by October 1996. But neither good ol' Clinton, nor Mr. Bush, issued them.
Obama's analysis: "I find it unbelievable that the EPA would continue to drag its feet despite the fact that their own analysis found that these rules could prevent 28,000 lead-related illnesses each year."
Me too, dear sir -- me too.
Laura Barcella is an Associate Editor at AlterNet.