All News Releases By Date
Hartford, CT Property Owner Agrees to $240,000 Settlement in Lead Paint Disclosure Case
Release Date: 10/04/04
Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)
For Immediate Release: October 4, 2004 Release # 04-10-03
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the owner and rental agent of Clemens Place, a 500-unit residential housing complex in Hartford, CT, has agreed to pay a $45,000 fine and undertake environmental projects worth $195,000 to settle claims that it failed to provide tenants required information regarding the possible presence of lead paint in their buildings.
According to EPA’s New England office, Intown West Associates, Limited Partnership and Intown Management Corporation, the owner and rental agent for the Clemens Place complex in Hartford, violated the federal Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act by failing to follow its rules requiring disclosure of lead hazards to prospective tenants. The violations took place at Clemens Place between September 2000 and September 2002.
“Lead paint is still one of the most serious and avoidable public health threats for children in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Property managers and property 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.”
Varney added that the owner and property manager in this particular case deserve credit for addressing the violations “very, very quickly” after they were made aware of them. The violations were discovered in September 2002 during an EPA inspection.
According to the settlement, the two Intown entities will spend a total of $195,000 to test for, remove or encapsulate lead paint hazards in all of its residential units at Clemens Place, in addition to paying the fine. The companies also agreed to remove or encapsulate lead paint hazards at a day-care center in New Haven, CT that does not have the financial means to conduct this work itself.
Intown Management will continue 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 they are using a lead-abatement plan properly. The plan also includes long-term maintenance procedures that need to be followed.
The settlement stems from the following allegations against the companies as a result of the September 2002 inspection:
- failure to provide tenants an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before leases were signed;
- failure to provide tenants lead warning statements in leases;
- 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.
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.
Internet Training Course: Lead Safety for Remodeling, Repair, and Painting (EPA HQ)
Lead Poisoning, Lead Paint, etc.
Lead Paint Enforcement Program
Lead Paint Disclosure Rules