Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA cites Phildelphia landlord for violating federal law by not disclosing lead-based paint hazards

Release Date: 3/4/2005
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

Contact: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited Philadelphia landlord William A. Rowell for violating a federal law requiring landlords and homeowners to disclose the presence of known lead-based paint to prospective tenants and homebuyers.

EPA seeks a $167,363 penalty for Mr. Rowell=s alleged failure to disclose the presence of known lead-based paint in eight rental properties in Philadelphia, in violation of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (RLPHA). Under this federal law, sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 B when the federal government banned the sale of lead-based house paint B are required notify prospective purchasers and tenants about the presence of lead-based paint (or disclose their lack of knowledge of such hazards).

Under RLPHA=s lead-based paint disclosure rule, landlords are required to provide a lead hazard information pamphlet to prospective tenants; provide a standard warning statement in the lease on the dangers of lead-based paint; provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection; provide prospective tenants with any available records or reports pertaining to lead-based paint in the rental housing; and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in leases.

In its administrative complaint, EPA cites Mr. Rowell for 48 violations of the lead-based paint disclosure rule. The alleged violations involve 14 lease agreements for eight rental properties, entered into between 2000 and 2004. The properties are located on Elmwood Ave., Paschall Ave., Reedland St., Saybrook St., S. 67th St., S. Hobson St., and Wheeler St. in Philadelphia.

In investigating this case, EPA has worked closely with the City of Philadelphia=s Department of Public Health, which provided inspection reports and other records on the residential properties at issue in EPA=s complaint.

EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are cooperating in a nationwide effort to protect tenants and homeowners from the health risks of lead-based paint. High blood levels of lead can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and widespread health problems, such as a reduced intelligence and attention span, hearing loss, stunted growth, reading and learning problems and behavioral difficulties. Young children, in particular, are most vulnerable because their nervous systems are still developing. For more information on lead in paint, dust and soil, and the lead disclosure rule, please visit