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Companies Fined for Failing to Notify Tenants About Lead Paint at Two Navy Bases in New England

Release Date: 05/01/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 1, 2012) – Two companies have agreed to pay a penalty of $89,300 to settle EPA claims that they violated federal lead paint disclosure laws at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine and the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn.

In a recent EPA enforcement complaint, EPA alleged that Northeast Housing, LLC, and Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management, LLC failed on multiple occasions to notify prospective tenants, including families with young children, about potential lead paint hazards in housing managed by the companies on the two Navy bases in New England.  Specifically, the companies failed to comply with the Lead Based Paint Disclosure Rule when they entered into contracts to lease housing with military personnel during the years 2007-2010 by failing to provide available records and reports regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards to 13 lessees (10 lessees at Portsmouth and three lessees at the Conn. base).  Nine of the lessees were families with children, including seven families with children under the age of six.

Notifying prospective tenants of housing units helps parents protect young children from exposure to lead-based paint hazards.  Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause intelligence quotient deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and behavior problems. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems, and muscle and joint pain.

Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. The purpose of the Lead Disclosure Rule is to provide residential renters and purchasers of pre-1978 housing with enough information about lead-based paint in general and known lead-based paint hazards in specific housing, so that they can make informed decisions about whether to lease or purchase the housing.

The housing at both bases is owned by Northeast, a joint venture limited liability company between the Department of the Navy and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC, of which the BBC affiliate is the managing member.  There are approximately 25 pre-1978 housing units located at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where housing was built in the 1800s and early 1900s.  There are approximately 735 pre-1978 housing units at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton which were built in the early 1960s.

Northeast Housing and Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management cooperated with EPA in promptly correcting the violations and in reaching a quick settlement.

More information on lead hazards and lead disclosure rule: http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadinfo.htm

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