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LEAD-BASED PAINT UPDATE

Renovation and repair may now require lead notice and EPA pamphlet.New ruling took effect 6/1/1999

The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, requires landlords to inform renters about Lead-based paint dangers.

Landlords who renovate or disturb painted surfaces on any house built before 1978, are now required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to distribute the pamphlet, "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" to residents before starting certain renovation projects. In addition to providing the pamphlet to residents, property owners must obtain written acknowledgment that is has been received.

The pamplet and notification forms are available in the RHOL Forms Web .

The June 1, 1998, ruling by the EPA is an update of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. Under the EPA ruling, window replacement, removing or modifying painted surfaces or components, and removing walls, coiling and major plumbing will all require pamphlet distribution unless the activity is part of an abatement project, in which case more stringent rules apply.

Exemptions from the ruling:

    Housing for the elderly, persons with disability, (provided a child under the age of six does not live there) and homes without a bedroom, such as efficiencies or studio apartments are exempt.

Minor repairs disrupting two square feet or less of a painted surface, emergency renovations and work done in target housing with written determination by a certified inspector that affected components are free of lead are exempt from the ruling as well .

Penalties for non-compliance

Violators of the EPA ruling can face civil penalties of up to $25,000 a day per violation. Criminal penalties can be up to $25,000 a day per violation and include imprisonment for up to one year for each violation.

The EPA is developing an "Enforcement Response Policy" to allow some flexibility in enforcing the penalties, including warning notices and opportunities for compliance.

National Lead Information clearinghouse,
  1 -800-424-LEAD.

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