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Attorney General Announces Two Settlements For Lead Law Violations

CONTACT: Robert F. McDougall, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3186

November 8, 2013

Two Vermont landlords have agreed to bring their rental properties in Springfield and Poultney into compliance with the Vermont Lead in Housing law. Landlords Allyn Bruce and Betty Battles have each entered into a settlement with the Vermont Attorney General for failure to perform lead compliance checks and to perform essential maintenance practices required by the law.

The two settlements are the latest in an ongoing campaign to bring properties into compliance with the Lead in Housing Law. “Lead-based paint in housing is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning, which can cause adverse health effects including decreases in IQ,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. “Protecting public health and safety has always been our primary concern when enforcing the Lead Law and my office will continue to work with Vermont landlords to bring their property into compliance.”

Vermont’s Lead Law requires that essential maintenance practices (known as EMPs) be performed in all pre-1978 rental housing. Annually, an EMP Compliance Statement certifying completion of EMPs needs to be submitted to the Department of Health, to the owner’s insurance carrier and to all tenants of the property.

Claims were brought against landlords Bruce and Battles for failing to perform EMPs at the respective properties. Each settlement requires the landlord to spend a total of $10,000.00 in civil penalties and/or the performance of lead hazard reduction work at the properties. Money spent on lead hazard reduction work must be in addition to any work required in the performance of EMPs.

For more information on Vermont's law, or for copies of the court documents in these and other lead enforcement actions, see the Attorney General's website at http://www.atg.state.vt.us and click on the "Lead in Housing" link.

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