January 11, 2024

HUD: Public Health Commitment Strengthened with New Radon Policy and $3 Million in Grants for Testing and Mitigation

Departmental policy mandates radon consideration in environmental reviews; grants aimed at safeguarding public housing residents from the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today the publication of its Departmental Policy for addressing Radon in the Environmental Review Process. With this policy, HUD increases its commitment to radon awareness and the importance of addressing the risk of residential radon exposure. HUD is requiring that radon be considered as part of the HUD environmental review process.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. By requiring that radon be considered within the HUD environmental review process, HUD is committed to addressing the hazard of this serious contaminant.

“Through this new policy, HUD will increase awareness and address the hazards posed by radon to the health and safety of families across America,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These grants will help public housing agencies reduce the threats presented by radon exposure to families and children.”

HUD’s policy requires consideration of radon when appropriate and encourages the testing of radon as the most effective means by which site-specific levels of radon can be identified, though the policy does not require testing. This policy serves as an initial step toward advancing radon awareness and mitigation of the hazard in HUD-assisted housing nationwide.

The policy applies to environmental reviews for all HUD programs subject to HUD’s environmental review regulations at 24 CFR Parts 50 and 58. The policy goes into effect 90 days after publication for all non-tribal recipients. For all Tribe, Tribally Designated Housing Entity, and Department of Hawaiian Homeland recipients, the policy goes into effect two years after publication.

Today, HUD also awarded over $3 million to public housing agencies in six states to protect children and families from radon hazards. HUD is providing these grants through its Radon Testing and Mitigation Demonstration Grant Program to public housing agencies to conduct testing and as needed mitigation of radon in the units that they manage. The program also supports the housing authorities’ developing plans for future testing and mitigation. This investment will protect about 3,000 residents, including children, from risks posed by radon exposure.

Read a complete description of the projects awarded grants today.

The following is a state-by-state breakdown of the funding announced today:

ILWarren County Housing Authority$600,000
MDHousing Authority of Prince George’s County$450,678
MOThe Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri$508,274
NEBlair Housing Authority$442,858
OHColumbiana Metropolitan Housing Authority$600,000
TNMaryville Housing Authority$446,122

January is National Radon Action Month, HUD is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during Radon Awareness Week to participate in the CDC Environmental Health Nexus Webinar: Plan, Test, Mitigate: National and Local-level Efforts to Reduce Radon Risks in U.S. Communities on January 22, 2024 – 2:00 PM EST. To learn more about radon testing and mitigation efforts in communities across the U.S., register here: Webinar Registration – Zoom (zoomgov.com).

This post was originally published here.