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EPA Takes Action against Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule –  EPA announced 17 enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP). The RRP rule protects homeowners and tenants from dangerous lead dust that can be left behind after common renovation, repair, and painting work.   The alleged violations included failure to follow the lead-safe work practices, which are critical to reducing exposure to lead-based paint hazards.  On April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Read the full press release.

Nutritious Summer Meals Available to Children in Need  – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established in 1968 to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.  Free summer meals (breakfast, lunch, or snacks) are served to children in low-income areas at sites such as neighborhood parks, libraries, schools, places of worship, mobile buses, and recreation centers. Section 103 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296) signed into law on Dec. 13, 2010, removed limits on the number of sites that private nonprofit organizations may operate in SFSP. For a SFSP site to be eligible, 50 percent or more of the children in a Census Block Group (CBG) must be eligible for free or reduced price school meals. SFSP provides an opportunity to continue a child’s physical and social development while providing nutritious meals during long vacation periods from school. It helps children return to school ready to learn. More than 2.28 million children participated at almost 39,000 sites in the summer of 2012.  For more information, visit Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Preparedness law allowed Boston to quickly pool medical resources – A Massachusetts law enacted in 2010 allowed Boston-area hospitals on Monday, April 15 to quickly gather medical supplies and resources following the bombings that killed three and injured 176 persons.  The Massachusetts Mutual Aid Law, an opt-in intrastate and interstate mutual aid law, allows hospitals in the center of disaster zones to employ medical professionals credentialed in other hospitals to help with providing health services immediately after a disaster. Following the marathon explosions, health professionals and ordinary citizens who sought to offer assistance were also protected from liability by Massachusetts Good Samaritan laws.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has three types of mutual aid agreements: Intrastate, Interstate and International Agreements.  Under varying conditions, each agreement allows the state to send or request for aid in the event of a disaster. The law also allows the state to overcome credentialing and liability issues that have hampered rescue efforts in the past.  Read the full story here.   Learn more about the Massachusetts Mutual Aid Law

Health Information exchange (HIE) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plan to accelerate the health information exchange (HIE). This will build a seamless and secure flow of information essential to transforming the health care system.  This year HHS will encourage Medicare Advantage plans to expand the use of Blue Button to provide beneficiaries with one-click secure access to their health information. Blue Button is a VA initiative that allows Veterans to download their personal health information from their My HealtheVet account.  The goal is to continue expanding health information technology use. For more information read the entire HHS press release.