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Talla Villa Apartments in Tallahassee, Florida Reaches Agreement with EPA on Lead-Based Paint Violations

Release Date: 04/30/2009
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Apr. 30, 2009) Under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Talla Villa Apartments, a Florida Limited Partnership in Tallahassee, must pay a civil penalty of $7,700 for alleged violations of the residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. Additionally, Talla Villa Apartments will perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at more than $69,300. The SEP includes encapsulating existing lead-based painted components and replacing interior doors and door jambs identified within the Talla Villa Apartment complex. This SEP is the first of what EPA hopes will be many abatement projects in the southeast aimed at reducing lead hazards to children and families.

The alleged violations include, but are not limited to:

    Failure to provide the renter with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before the renter is obligated under any contract to lease target housing;
    Failure to include as an attachment to or within the contract, a statement disclosing the presence of known lead-based paint or a statement indicating no knowledge of the presence of lead-based paint; and
    Lack of a statement in the lease or contract by the renter affirming receipt of the information.

Over the last several years, EPA has been working with Federal, State, and local partners to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a public health threat. The Talla Villa case represents a new approach by the Region to support the national goal of achieving tangible pollutant reductions through the enforcement of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the Lead Disclosure Rule.

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and implementing regulations in the Lead Disclosure Rule help prevent exposure -- especially of children -- to hazards from lead-based paint by requiring disclosure and notification when selling or leasing housing. The Lead Disclosure Rule requires that landlords or sellers of housing
constructed prior to 1978 provide each purchaser or tenant with a lead hazard information pamphlet, any information and/or reports concerning lead-based paint hazards at the property and a Lead Warning Statement to be signed by the parties. Additionally, sellers are required to provide purchasers with an opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint evaluation.

Children under six years of age are among the most vulnerable to the harmful effects from lead-based paint and other lead containing materials such as dust and contaminated soil. Recent studies indicate that almost one million children nationwide have blood-lead levels above safe limits. Lead poisoning in children can have serious, long-term health and quality of life impacts, including intelligence deficiencies, learning disabilities, hearing impairment, hyperactivity and/or behavioral problems. More than half of the U.S. housing stock built before 1978 may have significant lead-based paint hazards.

For additional information on lead in paint, dust and soil, visit: http://www.epa.gov/lead/