Americans would help finance the towering costs of finding and removing hazardous lead paint from older homes in Baltimore and elsewhere around the country by paying about $15 more for their car batteries, under legislation being introduced in Congress today.
Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., said the bill he drafted would raise $1 billion a year for lead-paint abatement by levying an excise tax on continuing uses of lead.
Environmentalists and health advocates hailed the bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. The congressmen also joined last week in proposing another lead bill. That legislation would set a federal standard for lead in drinking water and would require that new homeowners and tenants be notified there may be lead paint in their homes.
Cardin's lead tax bill is likely to be opposed by the lead industry and by makers of car and truck batteries, the chief continuing use of the metal.