Paint Companies That Want Californians to Pay for Lead Cleanup Close to Getting Measure on Ballot

As three national paint companies move closer to getting a measure on California’s November ballot that would wipe out a court ruling against them, state lawmakers are pushing the companies to back down from some of their claims.

This undated photo shows a person painting a window sill. (Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

This undated photo shows a person painting a window sill. (Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

The three companies, ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams, announced Thursday that they have started to submit more than 680,000 signatures to ensure their initiative appears on the ballot. The companies’ plan would eliminate a court order for them to pay an estimated $700 million to clean up lead paint. It would replace it with a $2-billion taxpayer-funded bond to finance the cleanup of lead, mold and other hazardous materials.

The companies have also started a digital ad campaign asking Californians to persuade their lawmakers to propose bills that would overturn the court ruling. The companies’ contend that the court ruling “red tags” millions of homes and makes homeowners potentially liable for lead paint cleanup.

The problem is that none of those claims are true, argue eight state legislators in a letter sent to the companies’ chief executives Wednesday.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.