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Erie Landlord Settles EPA Lead-Paint Disclosure Case Agrees to Pay $1,000 Penalty, Remove Lead-Based Paint

Release Date: 3/9/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540

Ruth Podems, 215-814-5540

ERIE, Pa. - Erie landlord Gerald Shields will pay a $1,000 penalty and remove lead-based paint to settle an EPA complaint over his alleged failure to disclose lead-based paint information to new tenants in his rental property.

According to EPA’s May 1999 complaint, Mr. Shields, failed to provide a disclosure statement and lead-based paint information when he leased a first-floor apartment in Erie to a new tenant in July 1998. At the time of the lease signing, the new tenant had three young children. Several paint samples taken from the property during a September 1998 inspection contained lead.

Mr. Shields violated the “Lead Disclosure Rule” which requires that sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 must disclose to purchasers and tenants the presence of lead-based paint hazards (or lack of knowledge of such hazards); provide a lead hazard pamphlet; provide a warning statement on the dangers of lead-based paint; provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection; and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in sales contracts and leases.

In addition to the $1,000 penalty, Mr. Shields has agreed to spend at least $4,000 and up to $10,000 to complete the removal of lead-based paint at this property. Mr. Shields has certified that he is now in compliance with the Disclosure Rule. As part of the settlement, Mr. Shields neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations.

Lead Settlement -- 3/9
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This legal action is part of a nationwide effort by EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to protect homeowners, tenants and their children from the health hazards of lead-based paints. High levels of lead in the blood 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.

For more information on the Lead Disclosure Rule, please visit or