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Connecticut Property Manager Agrees to $215,000 Settlement for Violating Lead Laws
Release Date: 08/05/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)
For Immediate Release: August 5, 2004 Release # 04-08-03
BOSTON – The New York-based manager of 1,600 residential units in Connecticut has agreed to pay a $95,000 penalty and undertake environmental projects worth $120,000 to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it failed to provide tenants required information regarding the possible presence of lead paint in their dwellings.
According to EPA’s New England office, Ceebraid Signal Management Group of Freeport, NY, which has properties in Branford, Hamden, Danbury, Stamford and Norwalk, CT, violated the federal Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the federal Lead Disclosure Rule.
“Lead paint is still one of the most serious public health concerns for children in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Property managers and owners have an important role in preventing lead poisoning and need to follow all lead paint disclosure requirements so that families are aware of potential lead hazards.”
According to the settlement, Ceebraid will spend a total of $120,000 to test for and remove lead paint hazards in all seven of its apartment complexes, in addition to paying the fine. Ceebraid also agreed to develop a lead management plan to monitor the condition of its properties and to remove lead paint problems, where necessary. The company's employees will also take a lead-safe work practices training course to make sure the plan is used properly.
The settlement stems from the following allegations against the company:
- failure to provide tenants an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before contracts were signed;
- failure to provide tenants lead warning statements;
- failure to provide statements disclosing the presence of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, or indicating no knowledge of the presence of lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the target housing;
- failure to provide a list of records or reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing, or failure to indicate that no such list exists.
The complexes Ceebraid manages in Connecticut are at 57 Montoya Circle in Branford (Montoya Condominiums & Cherry Hill Apartments); One Kaye Plaza in Hamden (Seramonte); 10 Clapboard Ridge Rd. in Danbury (Hillcroft); 98-140 Hoyt St. in Stamford (Hoyt-Bedford); 83 & 95 Morgan Street in Stamford (Morgan Manor); 65 & 77 Prospect Street in Stamford (Townhouse North Apartments); and 32 Prospect Street in Norwalk (Morningside Garden Apartments).
The case is among more than a dozen lead-related civil and criminal cases EPA New England has taken since launching an initiative to make sure landlords, property owners and property managers are complying with federal lead disclosure laws. The initiative has included more than 150 inspections around New England, as well as compliance assistance workshops.
Federal law requires that sellers and landlords selling or renting housing built before 1978 must: provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, called "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home"; include lead notification language in sales and rental forms; disclose any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the living unit; and provide available records to prospective buyers or renters, prior to signing purchase and sale contracts and lease documents.
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth, hearing problems, and behavior and learning problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer from difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.
For more information on lead paint disclosure requirements and other issues regarding lead, visit the agency’s web site at www.epa.gov/ne/topics/pollutants/lead.html.
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Lead Poisoning, Lead Paint, etc.
Lead Paint Enforcement Program
Lead Paint Disclosure Rules