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Kids First program back up and running

Release Date: 10/6/2005
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      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 (EPA) announced today that the Kids First program for residential environmental services is again up and running. The Lake County Community Health Program (LCCHP), which includes blood-lead screening, environmental testing and clean up, began operations October 3.

Rebecca Thomas, EPA Project Manager said, “We are pleased to get the environmental program back working again after the Asarco bankruptcy. Work will continue for families already in the program and we encourage all residents to participate.”

Since Asarco filed for bankruptcy, funding for the program has been on hold. Lake County continued to operate the blood-lead monitoring program, but the environmental part of the program was temporarily stopped. Now, EPA will take over the operations of the environmental program and work with Lake County, the City of Leadville and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to coordinate continuation of the program.

“We realize that the temporary stoppage has been inconvenient for some families, but the EPA is committed to seeing the Kids First program through to completion,” said Thomas.

EPA is pleased with the performance of the program to date and with the reduction of blood-lead levels at the site. “We are hopeful that the positive trend continues and the goals are met for three consecutive years, which is the program’s objective,” stated Thomas.

For residents interested in participating, there is no cost and all aspects of the program are voluntary. Children do not have to be living at the property to participate. Families with children under 6 years old in Lake County are encouraged to have their blood-lead levels checked at the Health Department.

To learn more about the program, call 719-486-0118 for blood-lead monitoring and 719-486-3538 for environmental testing or stop by the program office at 130 West 9th Street.