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U.S. EPA fines Long Beach landlord $7,952 over lead-based paint violations

Release Date: 11/04/2009
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213 244 1815,

Landlord cooperated with the investigation

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Long Beach, Calif., property owner $7,952 for allegedly violating federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements at six rental properties located at 1444 Chestnut Ave.

During a routine inspection in 2005, the EPA discovered that residential property owner James Williams failed to disclose whether reports about lead-based paint or lead hazards existed for his apartment complex prior to tenants signing lease agreements which was in violation of the federally regulated Toxic Substances Control Act.

“This action confirms EPA’s commitment to enforcing toxic substances regulations to protect families, especially children, from potential lead-based paint hazards," said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Childhood lead poisoning from exposure to lead-based paint chips or dust continues to be an environmental challenge. Without adequate information about lead hazards, tenants and home owners cannot protect themselves and their families from the significant risks that these hazards present.”

Between July and December 2005, Williams owned and leased six residential rental units. Mr. Williams cooperated with the EPA to resolve the case.

Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, or hearing problems.

Federal law requires that persons and entities who sell or rent housing built before 1978 must provide an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet; include lead notification language in sales and rental forms; disclose any known lead-based paint hazards and provide reports to buyers or renters; allow a lead inspection or risk assessment by home buyers; and maintain records certifying compliance with applicable federal requirements for three years.

Lead hazards may be controlled through specific maintenance practices or eliminated through abatement. For additional information on lead in paint, dust and soil, see:

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