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News Releases from Region 09

U. S. EPA settlement requires Salinas, Calif. Realty company to remove lead-based paint

Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Piini Realty, Inc. for failing to notify its tenants about the potential presence of lead-based paint at 12 rental units located in Salinas, Calif. As part of the settlement, windows, doors, and kitchen cabinets that contain lead-based paint will be removed at various apartments managed by the firm. Any replacement windows will be Energy Star qualified.

"To protect families from lead poisoning, it is crucial for property managers and landlords to provide tenants information concerning the known or potential presence of lead-based paint hazards," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Lead-based paint is still the main source of lead exposure for children, which can cause learning disabilities and behavior problems."

Under the settlement, the firm is required to pay a $4,250 penalty and must spend a minimum of $38,255 removing lead-based paint at its properties. If lead-based paint is allowed to deteriorate, it could pose a hazard to tenants. The project must be completed within 18 months and every six months Piini Realty must report back to EPA on its progress. All work must be executed by individuals and companies certified to perform such work in accordance with federal and state law.

An EPA inspection found that the firm did not provide tenants with information about the potential presence of lead-based paint before leasing several properties in Salinas. These actions violated the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule.

The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Federal law requires that persons and entities that sell or rent housing built before 1978, such as the units managed by Piini Realty involved in this case, provide lead hazard information to buyers or tenants. In addition, contractors who work on such housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified by EPA if they perform significant renovation, repair, or painting.

EPA places a high priority on addressing environmental health risks like lead poisoning that disproportionately affect children and environmental justice communities. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, and other harmful health effects. Because such effects may not be immediately apparent in young children, testing is recommended to identify lead poisoning and take action to prevent further harm.

For additional information about lead in paint, dust and soil and the Toxic Substances Control Act requirements, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/lead/

For more information the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/lead/lead-residential-lead-based-paint-disclosure-program-section-1018-title-x

For more information about the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule, please visit:

Notify EPA about lead paint violations in Calif.: http://www.epa.gov/region9/lead/tips-complaints.html

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