WASHINGTON—Today (Thursday), Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson a letter urging HUD to take action and address the ongoing carbon monoxide concerns around the country.
In the letter, Senators Scott and Menendez stated, “On January 17, 2019, two South Carolinians tragically lost their lives in entirely preventable deaths. Calvin Witherspoon Jr. and Derrick Caldwell Roper died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in Columbia’s Allen Benedict Court public housing…Unfortunately, this type of incident is not isolated to Columbia, South Carolina.”
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50,000 people go to the emergency room every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The most vulnerable of our population are the most at risk, including children, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities. Tragically, over 430 people die as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.”
They continued, “We are writing to inquire what HUD is doing to ensure that all dwelling units receiving federal assistance are in compliance with the local laws and/or ordinances concerning carbon monoxide detection alarms for the jurisdiction the dwelling unit is located in. Additionally, please provide information on when HUD plans to finalize amendments to Uniform Physical Conditions Standards (UPCS) to better reflect safety concerns like carbon monoxide detectors.”