WAKE-UP CALL: Improper Lead Paint Abatement Sends Recent Rental Property Owner to Prison
The EPA has begun taking serious measures towards those not following EPA RRP guidelines. A Baltimore, MD based rental property owner ignored the guidelines and is now facing prison time.
According to the report, C. Murrell owned and managed approximately 175 rental housing units throughout Baltimore area, all built pre-1978. He knew of lead presence in the rental units and chose to not disclose to the tenants that there was a presence of lead.
“C. Murrell placed Baltimore children at risk of permanent injuries by violating federal law and ignoring repeated orders to comply with lead paint regulations,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “It is unacceptable in 2012 for pregnant women and children to be exposed to lead paint in violation of the law.”
The local newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, reported that “The judge said he trimmed Murrell’s prison sentence in recognition of his age and the testimonials about his good deeds. But Legg said prison time was warranted in light of the seriousness of lead poisoning and as a deterrent to other non-compliant landlords. The judge also ordered Murrell to get out of the rental housing business “in an orderly fashion.”
According to the EPA official from the report, “Americans need accurate and truthful information in order to make informed decisions about where they will live,” said David G. McLeod Jr., special agent in charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Maryland.
Lead can adversely affect people in many different ways, causing life changing illnesses and even death. If not dealt with properly, homeowners, children, contractors, and even the neighbors can be affected by lead dust during a renovation project.
Lead dust is a serious concern during construction renovation projects. Since the passage of EPA RRP regulations in 2010, renovation contractors have to get certified to perform work on homes built prior to 1978, and use approved methods and equipment. Fines for non-compliance can be as high as $37,500, and now jail time looms for those who choose to ignore the law.
For more information about dust collection systems that meet EPA RRP guidelines, or to read additional articles on lead, click here.
To view the full court ordered judgment from the Baltimore city US attorney for Mr. C. Murrell, click here.