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EPA Reaches Settlement with Lancaster Landlord over Violations of Lead-Paint Notification Rule
Release Date: 06/26/2009
Contact Information: Terri White 215-814-5523 / firstname.lastname@example.org
PHILADELPHIA (June 26, 2009) -- Tony J. Papadimitriou, the owner of several residential properties in Lancaster, Pa., has settled alleged violations of a federal law requiring disclosure of lead-based paint hazards to residential tenants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. EPA praised the key role of City of Lancaster officials in discovering and documenting these violations, as well as testifying at an EPA administrative hearing in this case.
In a consent agreement with EPA, Papadimitriou has agreed to an $80,000 settlement for failing to provide required information to tenants about lead-based paint hazards in lease agreements involving residential properties in Lancaster.
Under the terms of the settlement, Papadimitriou will pay an $8,000 settlement, and spend at least $72,000 over the next three years to abate lead-based paint hazards in his rental properties.
Papadimitriou was cited under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. This federal law requires sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 (when the federal government banned the sale of lead-based house paint) to provide homebuyers and tenants with warning statements about lead-based paint hazards. The law also requires home sellers and landlords to disclose known lead-based paint hazards to homebuyers and tenants (or to disclose their lack of knowledge of such hazards) and to provide a copy of the pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" to homebuyers and tenants.
In a complaint filed on Dec. 31, 2007, EPA cited Papadimitriou for failing to provide the required warnings and disclosures in 21 lease agreements from 2003-2006. Papadimitriou and EPA reached an agreement in principle to settle these violations at a March 1, 2009 trial before an EPA administrative law judge in the federal courthouse in Philadelphia. At the trial, EPA presented testimony from a Lancaster City Lead-Paint Specialist and a registered nurse from the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program that one of the families who leased a property from Papadimitriou had a child with a blood-lead level more than seven times the federal threshold for lead poisoning.
As part of the settlement, Papadimitriou did not admit liability for the violations alleged in EPA’s complaint, but has certified that he is now complying with legal requirements to notify tenants about lead-based paint hazards.
EPA is cooperating with other federal, state, and local agencies to protect tenants and homeowners from the health risks of lead-based paint. High blood levels of lead can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and widespread health problems, such as a reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems and behavioral difficulties. Young children, in particular, are most vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing. For more information on environmental, health, and legal issues involving lead, please visit https://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html.