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EPA settles with Minnesota landlords on lead-based paint disclosure violations

Release Date: 02/21/2006
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, (312) 353-8547,

No. 06-OPA029

CHICAGO (Feb. 21, 2006) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has settled with IRET Properties (owner) and Weis Management Corp. (property management) for allegedly failing to warn tenants of four rental apartment buildings in Rochester, Minn., that their homes may contain lead-based paint hazards.

The landlords will pay a civil penalty of $6,799 and replace 52 windows in four rental properties at 2441 and 2455 U.S. Highway 52 N. and 2428 and 2506 18 Ave. in Rochester.

"These settlements send a strong signal to all landlords, management companies and home sellers that they have a legal obligation to inform tenants and buyers about potentially dangerous lead in their properties," said Region 5 Administrator Thomas V. Skinner.

The Federal Lead-based Paint Disclosure Rule requires that landlords and sellers of housing constructed prior to 1978 provide tenants and buyers with general and property-specific lead-hazard information and include a lease or contract clause so new residents can affirm receipt of the lead warnings.

Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poor hearing and a host of other health problems in young children.

Peeling lead paint is the most common source of lead exposure to children in the United States. About 75 percent of the nation's housing built before 1978 contains lead-based paint. When properly managed, lead-based paint poses little risk. If paint is not maintained, however, even low levels of lead exposure can threaten occupants' health, especially children and pregnant women. For more information about protecting your family from lead-based paint see .

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