Things are still cool in Kentucky (KY). The HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) money is still flowing in for lead paint abatement. In fact, as Sheryl Edelen reports in the COURIER-JOURNAL, in KY the city of Louisville has recently received a $2.7 million HUD grant. That will abate lead paint in about 225 houses. Earlier, 300 houses were taken care of.
But things might not stay cool. In Rhode Island (RI) the HUD money dried up. HUD told the Department of Health and other parties in the lead-abatement loop that they would have to scout up their own money. My theory has always been that it was that gap in funding - which could have been solved w/o radical measures - that resulted in RI lead paint trials I, II and maybe a III. This litigation in RI has been, yes, radical. So radical that legal experts and Wall Street are watching it and wondering how can a state of the United States really pull something as wild as a public nuisance suit off?
Hopefully, before the HUD money disappears in KY, the state will search for other sources of funding before anyone and everyone panics. Panic is exactly what they seemed to do in RI and it may be something that the state is already regretting. RI watchers are finding that this kind of aberrant litigation has helped undermine the state's reputation as a good place to do business. KY can avoid the same economic-development hit.