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Richmond Townhouses Apartments, Ltd., other parties will pay the EPA $1.5 million

Release Date: 2/10/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415-947-4227

EPA spent $2.7 million cleaning up lead contamination

SAN FRANCISCO -- Recently the Richmond Townhouses Apartments, Ltd. andits general partners agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $1.4 million toward costs incurred by the agency in cleaning up lead contamination at the Richmond apartment complex three years ago.

In a separate agreement, the EPA expects the prospective purchaser of the site, Carlson Boulevard, L.P. and its general partners, to pay $100,000.

The EPA spent $2.7 million removing 11,000 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil at the 10-acre site. The EPA also capped parts of the site with concrete and cleaned lead dust from apartment carpeting.

"Credit goes to the settling parties for paying the government back for cleaning up this site," said Keith Takata, director of the EPA's Superfund division in San Francisco. "This money can be used to fund other cleanups in the future."

Contra Costa County inspectors found the lead contamination during a site investigation in the mid-1970s. The site had been used to paint and sandblast railroad cars during the mid-1900s by Pullman Company, a former owner. Pullman, which owned the property until 1959, is no longer in business.

In 1982, the Richmond Townhouses Apartments, Ltd. purchased the site, including the apartment complex, from Richmond Townhouse Associates California, Ltd. The complex, built in 1973, has 199 apartments and a day care center for about 50 children.

Exposure to high levels of lead in soil can cause serious health problems, especially for children below the age of six. Even small amounts of lead can delay mental development and impair hearing. Long-term exposure to high levels of lead can cause nervous system damage and kidney failure.