Federal Legislation

Congress H.R.1268

Short Title:  United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2003 (“The Melina Bill”)

Official Title:  To Amend the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Public Buildings Act of 1959, to Protect Human Health from Toxic Mold, and for Other Purposes

Status:  Proposed

(H.R.1268 information page at the THOMAS Federal legislative information system

This Bill is proposed by United States Representative John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan.

The Bill’s impetus (and name) originates from the horrendous experience of one of Congressman Conyers’ own staff members, Pam Walker. Her nine-year-old daughter, Melina, lost 70 percent of her lung capacity shortly after the family moved into a house infested with high levels of the mold Stachybotrys sp.

Major Provisions of the Bill

United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2003 or the Melina Bill – Directs: (1) the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to jointly study the health effects of indoor mold growth and toxic mold; (2) EPA to promulgate standards for preventing, detecting, and remediating indoor mold growth; and (3) EPA, NIH, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to sponsor related public education programs.

Directs: (1) rental property lessors to conduct annual indoor mold inspections and notify the occupants of such results; and (2) the Secretary of HUD and the Administrator of EPA to promulgate mold hazard disclosure regulations with respect to housing offered for sale or lease.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish, with respect to indoor mold in public housing, inspection requirements for existing housing and construction standards for new housing; and (2) establish model construction standards and techniques for mold prevention in new buildings.

Establishes an indoor/toxic mold inspection requirement with respect to federally made or insured mortgages.

Amends the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993 to provide for industry standards development with respect to building products that are designed to retard mold development.

Directs the Administrator of EPA to make grants to States and local governments for mold growth remediation efforts in buildings owned or leased by such governments, including schools and multifamily dwellings.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow an annual tax credit for 60 percent of non-reimbursed mold inspection and remediation expenses ($50,000 annual maximum) paid or incurred by a taxpayer.

Requires the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to: (1) establish and carry out a toxic mold insurance program, with priority for one-to-four-family residential properties; and (2) establish in the Treasury a National Toxic Mold Hazard Insurance Fund.

Authorizes the Director to assist qualifying insurers to form a federally-assisted toxic mold hazard insurance pool. Provides for Federal operation of such program under specified circumstances.

Authorizes State waiver of income, resource, and other Medicaid requirements for an individual whose health has been adversely affected by toxic mold exposure, and who lacks adequate medical insurance coverage.

Commentary on the Web on H.R. 1268

AIHA:  “Comments on the Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2003”(.pdf)

AIHA:  “AIHA Suggested Changes to the Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2003”(.pdf)