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Dorchester, Mass. Landlords Will Remove Lead Hazards from Residential Properties under EPA Settlement

Release Date: 12/15/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – Two Boston-area landlords will perform health-protective improvements on five Dorchester, Mass. properties to settle EPA claims that they failed to follow federal lead paint disclosure laws.

Under the settlement, My Van Nguyen and Xem Thi Le will also pay a cash penalty of $10,887, in addition to lead abatement projects valued at $97,977 at a number of other properties in Dorchester.

EPA alleged in a complaint that My Van Nguyen and Xem Thi Le violated the federal Toxic Substance Control Act when they failed to provide tenants with lead paint disclosure information at rental units they owned from 2010–11 in Dorchester, as required by the federal lead-based paint disclosure rule.

According to the agreement with EPA’s New England office, the environmental lead abatement project includes replacing lead-paint containing windows, doors and wood siding, and other lead abatement work at their residential rental properties located at 47-49 Savin Hill Ave., 37-45 Neponset St., 114 Sawyer Ave., 156 Ballou Ave. and 6-8 Westville Terrace, all of which are in Dorchester. Old windows, doors and wood siding in housing built before 1978 are known to contribute to lead poisonings in children in residential settings. Exposure to lead paint is a serious health concern in New England due to the age of the housing stock. All of the properties subject to work under this settlement were built in the early 1900s.

“The lead abatement projects required under this settlement will result in significant public health protections, because the work will remove lead hazards from these residential units,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure. Replacing windows, doors and wood siding at these properties will protect kids from the risk of lead poisoning.”

Lead poisoning of infants and children can cause lowered intelligence, 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.

The lead abatement work must be done within two years. Wipe sampling will be done when the work is completed to ensure that no lead-based paint dust remains at the work site. The five properties are located in a historically-disadvantaged “environmental justice” area.

Exposure to lead can cause lowered intelligence, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavior problems for infants and young children. Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.

The purpose of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule is to ensure that prospective tenants have enough information about lead-based paint in general and known lead-based paint hazards in specific housing to make an informed decision about whether to lease a particular property.

More information: Lead Paint Disclosure Requirements http://www2.epa.gov/lead/real-estate-disclosure

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