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Maine Landlord Agrees to $25,000 Settlement for Lead Disclosure Violations

Release Date: 06/16/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1008

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2004; Release # 04-06-18

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the 94 Cleaves Street Corp. in Biddeford, Maine has agreed to a $24,547 settlement regarding lead disclosure violations at a rental property it owns and manages. The company will pay a $6,750 cash penalty and spend at least $17,797 on abating lead paint hazards at its properties.

After a confirmed case of childhood lead poisoning at the 94 Cleaves Street property in July 1998, the Maine Department of Human Services found lead paint in the building and ordered the company to abate lead hazards. EPA's complaint alleged that on three occasions after receiving the abatement order, the company rented units in the same building to families with children without fully notifying the renters of lead paint hazards in the building, a violation of federal law.

Under the settlement announced today, 94 Cleaves Street, which is owned by Priscilla Dunn, will pay a $6,750 cash penalty and spend at least $17,797 on lead abatement projects at two of the company's properties. The company will abate lead-based paint hazards in an apartment unit at 94 Cleaves Street, and demolish and rebuild a deck with lead based paint at 16 Chapel Street, also in Biddeford, ME. Both projects will be conducted in accordance with the state and federal guidelines for lead abatement.

"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 federal lead paint disclosure requirements so that families are aware of potential lead hazards."

Today's 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 and property owners and managers are complying with federal lead disclosure laws. The initiative has included more than 150 inspections around New England, as well as compliance 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 EPA's web site at

Copies of "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home," EPA Document Number EPA747-K-99-001" are available from several sources: download from EPA's web sites at; or by calling the National Lead Information Center at (800) 532-9571.

Related Information:
Lead Poisoning, Lead Paint, etc.
Lead Paint Enforcement Program
Lead Paint Disclosure Rules