EPA cites 6 landlords for lead-based paint violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to assess civil penalties against five landlords in Colorado and one in Utah for violations of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The landlords are Kief-Riddell Partnership of Fullerton, Calif., which operates an apartment complex in Boulder, Colo.; Gerald A. Kelly Trust, which operates an apartment complex in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mack Irrevocable Trust of Denver, which operates an apartment complex in Denver, Colo.; Waclaw and Janina Jarosz, who operate an apartment complex in Lakewood, Colo., the Meryash Family Trust of Carmel Valley, Calif., which operates an apartment complex in Wheatridge, Colo.; Cherry Hills Apartments Business Trust of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, which operates an apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The landlords failed to comply with the law by not including the lead warning statement as a part of their leases. That statement is to warn tenants, before they sign the lease, about the possible presence of lead-based paint and its health hazards. For example, the statement warns that lead exposure is particularly hazardous to young children and pregnant women. The landlords also failed to comply with the law by not providing, prior to entering into leases with its tenants, the “Protect Your Family” pamphlet, which explains the health hazards of lead. It should be noted that several of the cited businesses have changed their practices in an effort to comply with the law since being inspected by the EPA.
“The Residential Lead Hazard Act has been in effect since 1996, but we continue to find significant noncompliance,” said EPA Deputy Assistant Regional Administrator Eddie Sierra. “We hope these actions will demonstrate that we take the requirements seriously and that we will seek penalties from those found not in compliance with the law.”
EPA regulations require that an owner of housing constructed before 1978 provide, prior to renting a property, an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, a lead warning statement, a statement disclosing the presence of any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards, a list of any records or reports available to the owner related to lead-based paint or hazards, a statement by the renter/lessees that they received all of this information, and signatures dated by both parties certifying the accuracy of their statements.
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