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EPA Levies $40,000+ Fines on Landlords Who Fail to Provide ‘EPA-Approved’ Pamphlets to Tenants
CNS News ^ | 8/24/2012 | Elizabeth Harrington

Posted on 08/25/2012 12:41:46 PM PDT by IbJensen

(CNSNews.com) – “Thinking of renting or selling a home or apartment?” asks the Environmental Protection Agency. “Make sure you disclose its lead-based paint history. Mr. Wolfe Landau did not and it cost him a $20,000 fine.”

Landau is one of the many landlords and realtors fined by the EPA for failing to provide an “EPA-approved” pamphlet to tenants seeking to rent or buy a house built before 1978.

And for the EPA, the non-compliance business is booming.

Juan Hernandez of Bridgeport, Conn., faces seven “Level 1” violations for failing to provide seven tenants with a copy of the “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” pamphlet, which was mandated by the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.

In Section 1018 of the law, Congress directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the EPA to require the disclosure of lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of housing units built before 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned.

The EPA filed a complaint against Hernandez on March 27, detailing notifying him that the agency plans to collect $49,980 from him, which works out to $7,140 for each pamphlet he failed to distribute.

“Failure to provide a purchases or lessee an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 745.1 07(a)(I) results in a high probability of impairing the lessee’s ability to properly assess information regarding the risks associated with exposure to lead-based paint and to weigh this information with regard to leasing the target housing in question,” the complaint read.

Hernandez’s total fine for other disclosure violations, such as supplying the property’s lead history and a “Lead Warning Statement,” reached $127,150, payable to the "Treasurer of the United States of America."

The EPA says the penalties are justified because lead exposure – a concern when the paint is flaking -- can be hazardous to young children and can lead to damage to the brain and nervous system. Thus the agency requires landlords to provide information about the risks involved.

The pamphlet offers tips to “protect your family,” such as keep play areas clean, keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces, and clean up paint chips immediately.

Available in six different languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic and Somali, the pamphlet is “printed with vegetable oil-based inks on recyclable paper,” it states.

The 13-page pamphlet is available online, or landlords may get one free copy from the National Lead Information Clearinghouse. They may also pay $26 for 50 copies from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

The EPA told CNSNews.com that under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) the agency has the authority to “inspect, subpoena documents, require testimony and bring civil administrative actions in target housing (housing, schools and daycares built before 1978).”

That means houses or apartment built before 1978 are subject to inspection at any time by an EPA inspector to make sure sellers and landlords are in compliance with the law.

In calculating the penalty, the EPA says it takes into account "the nature, circumstances, extent (whether children or pregnant women are affected) and gravity" of the violation -- as well as the violator's ability to pay and continue doing business. The rules for assessing the penalty run 12 pages.

Violations can often be settled with the EPA and result in lower fines. In fact, the EPA awards discounts of up to 30 percent for a cooperative “attitude” in cases that are settled prior to a hearing.

The EPA make its clear that the penalty must be enough to create an incentive for landlords and realtors to comply with the law. No one should profit by violating the disclosure rule, in other words.

Several cases have led to penalties as high as $50,000 for failure to distribute the EPA brochures.

In September 2011, Douglas Paulino of Hartford, Conn., failed to provide the EPA-approved pamphlet to six lessees, resulting in a fine of $49,700, according to an Initial Decision and Default Order.

A Default Order also was filed against John C. Jones of Roxbury, Massachusetts, in February 2012, when a penalty of $30,960 was levied for not providing the pamphlet to four tenants.

Lester Sykes, of Chicago, Illinois, was penalized $54,180 for 11 counts of failing to provide the lead hazards pamphlet in October of 2011. Sykes was ordered to pay total fines of $159,310 after he failed to respond to a complaint filed against him in 2008.

According to the EPA’s enforcement and penalty policy, individuals who knowingly violate a disclosure rule can face up to a year in prison and a maximum criminal fine of $25,000 for each day of the violation. Individuals can be fined a maximum of $100,000 for a single violation that does not result in death, while organizations can be fined up to $200,000 per count.

In addition, landlords can still be fined even if they prove that their property is free of lead-based paint. In that case, the EPA will merely “adjust the proposed penalty downward.”

“EPA may adjust the proposed penalty downward by up to 50 percent if the violator provides documentation that clearly demonstrates that the target housing was interior lead-based paint free in accordance with applicable state and/or local requirements at the time the alleged violation occurred,” the policy states.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coalplant; epa; epaoutofcontrol; evilepa; evilobamaregime; fascist; fines; leadbasedpaint; leadbasedpaintcrap; oldhouses; powerplant; tyranny
Available in six different languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic and Somali, the pamphlet is “printed with vegetable oil-based inks on recyclable paper,” it states.

Question: What kind of government drives its own citizens to poverty on purpose?

Answer: A depraved government, devoid of reason.

A government run by Obama and the democrat party of Eco-terrorists and tyrants are more like the USSR than the USA.

Dissolve the EPA.

1 posted on 08/25/2012 12:41:56 PM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Forget lawyers. The EPA should be the first ones against the wall when the Revolution comes.


2 posted on 08/25/2012 12:47:06 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: IbJensen

What is Required?

Before ratification of a contract for housing sale or lease, sellers and landlords must:

•Give an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards (”Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” pamphlet, currently available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic and Somali).

•Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. The seller or landlord must also disclose information such as the location of the lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, and the condition of the painted surfaces.

•Provide any records and reports on lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards which are available to the seller or landlord (for multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units, when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation).

•Include an attachment to the contract or lease (or language inserted in the lease itself) which includes a Lead Warning Statement and confirms that the seller or landlord has complied with all notification requirements. This attachment is to be provided in the same language used in the rest of the contract. Sellers or landlords, and agents, as well as homebuyers or tenants, must sign and date the attachment.

•Sellers must provide homebuyers a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may waive this inspection opportunity.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/healthy_homes/enforcement/disclosure


3 posted on 08/25/2012 12:55:46 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: freedumb2003

EPA does only what the Congress commands it to do. The Congress commanded this extortion, and EPA merely must do it. Indeed, given excessive and exorbitant Congressional spending and the perpetual threat of overriding the debt ceiling, EPA has a fiduciary duty to big government to maximize revenues to preserve the fading vestigial aura of national solvency.

Direct thy ire at the Congress! If Congress only repealed (or never passed) this punitive legislation, then EPA would not and could not exact such extortion.

Of note: I have lived in pre-1978 housing my entire life but never received the worthless brochure that Congress mandates with severe penalties.


4 posted on 08/25/2012 12:58:14 PM PDT by dufekin (Obama and Pelosi: at war against the Church--and innocent American babies)
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To: IbJensen

God has reserved a special place for those who work for the EPA.


5 posted on 08/25/2012 12:58:37 PM PDT by microgood
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To: IbJensen

How can the government compel certain speech?

One could make the argument that it is illegal to defraud you tenants by failing to disclose a known hazard, such as lead paint. But how does one go from a duty do disclose to a requirement that an citizen must provide a certain pamphlet at a certain time? Shouldn’t he have the right to disclose the hazard in any manner he sees fit, and if he fails to do so adequately be subject to a tort?

And if the landlord hands over the pamphlet and says, “I have to give these pamphlets to everybody, but don’t worry about it, because all of our paint is safe”, has he met the requirements?

And what if a building was built prior to 1978, but it does not contain any lead paint? What is the point of handing out a pamphlet in that case? Back in the early 70s, people knew the hazards of lead-based paint, and many builders were careful not to use them. But these buildings get tarred with the broad brush simply because of the year they were built?


6 posted on 08/25/2012 1:00:45 PM PDT by Haiku Guy ("The problem with Internet Quotes is that you never know if they are real" -- Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Haiku Guy

I have three words for these events:

Smith and Wesson.


7 posted on 08/25/2012 1:02:49 PM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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8 posted on 08/25/2012 1:02:57 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: IbJensen

Does ANYONE know anyone who has suffered from lead paint? I’ve been around it most of my life and cannot find anyone who has been sickened by it, including the steel plant workers that sprayed red lead on many of their products for marine use.


9 posted on 08/25/2012 1:03:11 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tyrannies demand immense sacrifices of their people to produce trifles.-Marquis de Custine)
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To: Mouton

“I have three words for these events:

Smith and Wesson.”

Just make sure that the ammo is lead free and frangible...


10 posted on 08/25/2012 1:09:03 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: IbJensen

BFL


11 posted on 08/25/2012 1:09:19 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: IbJensen

Congress can stop this fascist tyranny anytime but refuses to do so. The Nazis at EPA committed sedition in the Rapanos v US incident. Congress wouldn’t even hold hearings.

There’s a mile long trail of documents and illegal actions proving the EPA’s treason.


12 posted on 08/25/2012 1:11:23 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: FreedomPoster

What on earth does renting a house to someone have to do with interstate commerce? The feds have no business getting involved in this.


13 posted on 08/25/2012 1:12:40 PM PDT by wewereright
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To: Stormdog

depleted uranium


14 posted on 08/25/2012 1:15:16 PM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class!)
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To: dufekin

If you think the regulatory alphabet soup agencies are under the control of Congress I have a lead free bridge you can buy....


15 posted on 08/25/2012 1:15:34 PM PDT by Kozak (The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home JM)
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To: IbJensen

If only there had been a candidate who wanted to eliminate the EPA. Oh well, I’m sure Romney will rein in the abuses.


16 posted on 08/25/2012 1:18:28 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: reg45

“depleted uranium”

The ultimate green round...


17 posted on 08/25/2012 1:19:30 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: IbJensen

The Chicago mob is desperate for cash, so these extortionists will hit any business that hasn’t filed for bankruptcy under their disastrous leadership. You gotta pay protection or they’ll sic the IRS on you.


18 posted on 08/25/2012 1:20:48 PM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

around it most of my life ....
Same here...perhaps because our parents never let us eat paint chips!


19 posted on 08/25/2012 1:21:11 PM PDT by FES0844
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To: wewereright
Maybe the people moved in from another state, or the check clearing-house is elsewhere.

It's all included in the constitutional "penumbra" if you strain hard enough. /s

20 posted on 08/25/2012 1:23:07 PM PDT by ken in texas (I was taught to respect my elders but it keeps getting harder to find any.)
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To: Haiku Guy

“In addition, landlords can still be fined even if they prove that their property is free of lead-based paint. In that case, the EPA will merely “adjust the proposed penalty downward.””

Complete bull squats!


21 posted on 08/25/2012 1:28:17 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: IbJensen

Instead of fining them, the EPA should give them a grace period to hand out the pamphlets. These huge fines are ridiculous.


22 posted on 08/25/2012 1:29:40 PM PDT by grundle
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To: IbJensen

1. Do not rent to people who have young children.
2. If you have renters who have young children, do not renew the lease
3. Do not rent to people who you suspect would use this law to try to get some kind of compensation from you or who would hire an ambulance chaser lawyer.

Profile, profile, profile.


23 posted on 08/25/2012 1:35:50 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: gunsequalfreedom
Sellers or landlords, and agents, as well as homebuyers or tenants, must sign and date the attachment.

Sign and Date?? wow.

24 posted on 08/25/2012 1:36:04 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: dufekin

March 29, 2012

With the country focused on this week’s high drama at the Supreme Court, President Obama’s EPA quietly released long-delayed regulations to apply global warming rules never authorized by Congress to new coal-fired power plants.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/29/electric-rates-will-soar-now-that-obamas-epa-has-crushed-coal-fired-power/#ixzz24an9g6vD


25 posted on 08/25/2012 1:39:58 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: Lorianne

>>3. Do not rent to people who you suspect would use this law to try to get some kind of compensation from you or who would hire an ambulance chaser lawyer.<<

4. DO NOT RENT TO LAWYERS!


26 posted on 08/25/2012 1:44:22 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: IbJensen

Bump


27 posted on 08/25/2012 1:45:24 PM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: dufekin
EPA does only what the Congress commands it to do.

The EPA is a headless monster with an Agenda and the means to tear America down from within in the hopes of taking us back to the stone age.

Your own downthread post 25 even says so!

"EPA quietly released long-delayed regulations to apply global warming rules never authorized by Congress to new coal-fired power plants."

I agree Congress created this monster and Congress should kill it (although I think the President can as well). But the EPA is inherently evil.

28 posted on 08/25/2012 1:51:52 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (obozo could bring back literal slavery with chains and still he will get 85+% of the black vote)
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To: IbJensen
I remember when they went after the window blinds...

Look at the label on your Christmas lights. It says "wash your hands"..."wires contain LEAD".

29 posted on 08/25/2012 2:05:27 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: IbJensen

EPA is but one of the Federal “poster children” of “Mission Creep”. When this Agency was first authorized (1970 under R.Nixon), there was ample reasons for its creation. Now, the air and water are emphatically cleaner but all of those bureaucrats still need work and so smaller and smaller items of dispute become magnified.

Same things with “Endangered Species Act” and “Navigable Waters Act”. These are well-intentioned laws to meet perceived public needs, but we all need to remember what path is paved with “good intentions”! Every bureaucracy functions like a living organism, it either grows or dies. Are there any statues of government employees who did away with their own job(s)?


30 posted on 08/25/2012 2:17:23 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existence!)
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To: freedumb2003

That goes without saying!


31 posted on 08/25/2012 2:18:50 PM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Decades ago in New York area tenements, black fatherless children ran out of things to do so they started eating the paint off the walls.

Unfortunately, as with most imported toys from China, the lead seeped into the little brains and caused them to behave unnaturally. Like either embracing homosexuality or desiring to rape little girls.


32 posted on 08/25/2012 2:25:25 PM PDT by IbJensen (Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.)
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To: dufekin
EPA does only what the Congress commands it to do.

Only in Bizarro Land. In Realityville, the EPA was granted carte blanche to write and enforce it's own view of the world in a lot of areas.

Congress is due full blame for creating the monster that is the EPA, but the EPA has long ago slipped any leash held by the Congress.

The EPA needs to be shut down, and all then-current employees of the EPA re-assigned to a rubber room like that used for failed teachers in NYC.

33 posted on 08/25/2012 2:32:18 PM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

I suspect if you go to this gubmint site and download this pamphlet, you are automatically put on a list of people the EPA will visit.


34 posted on 08/25/2012 2:36:55 PM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: dufekin

Can you not see the zeal with which EPA is expanding their mandate by broad interpretation of the laws passed by Congress?

Yes, Congress is responsible for creating these messes but the administration administrates the laws as they see fit within their interpretation of the law.


35 posted on 08/25/2012 3:01:56 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average, they voted for oblabla.)
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To: IbJensen

The best man at our wedding and his wife bought a three family house in New Haven, Connecticut in the early 1990’s because they weren’t from the area because the wife was getting her PhD at Yale and the real estate agent convinced them that the area was undergoing a “revival”. (Yeah, but only the area 4 blocks closer to the shore.

Brian was very good at fixing things up and turned this old home into a masterpiece. He put in inlay tile, added al kinds of architectural features, the house was gorgeous. He and his wife rented the first floor to a single mom with a few kids. Youngest kid was known for eating anything, especially the dirt in the yard.

Anyway, the single mom’s dirt eating kid ends up with a really high level of lead in his blood. because the single mom got state aid, the state came in and went through the house from top to bottom. They found lead paint on one (1) window sill. This meant that they could sue Brian for big bucks!!

Moral of the story - never rent to anyone on the dole


36 posted on 08/25/2012 3:33:39 PM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: IbJensen

Don’t SIGN anything and go for a jury trial over this crap...

Somewhere along the way, most people sign their name to something that entangles them in the administrative rather than legal side of this type of crap...


37 posted on 08/25/2012 3:49:45 PM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: IbJensen

Don’t SIGN anything and go for a jury trial over this crap...

Somewhere along the way, most people sign their name to something that entangles them in the administrative rather than legal side of this type of crap...


38 posted on 08/25/2012 3:50:16 PM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: IbJensen

From Atlas Shrugged:

Continues bureaucrat Ferris: “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against . . . We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted [Frederick Mann: Obfuscation of meaning is a key element of the con games bureaucrats and politicians play.] - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”


39 posted on 08/25/2012 4:12:20 PM PDT by suthener
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To: IbJensen

If anybody knows a delegate to the RNC, they could raise a ruckus with 2,500 stamped postcards. On each would be a list of government agencies, and by what percent delegates think that each of their budgets should be reduced.

_EPA
_DOJ
_ENERGY
_EDUCATION
_HUD
_HHS
_TREASURY
_INTERIOR
_AGRICULTURE
_COMMERCE
_LABOR
_TRANSPORTATION
_HOMELAND SECURITY
_FDA
_USDA
_NOAA
_INTERIOR
_CORP FOR NATL AND COMM SERVICE


40 posted on 08/25/2012 4:35:23 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: IbJensen

The lead-based-paint racket has had a long life. Cost a lot of money. Initiated a lot of regulations and fines. This all started when it was noticed that SOME inner-city children had difficulty learning in public schools. The education community decided these children had difficulty learning, because they had all been chewing on window sills that were painted with lead-based paint.

I ask you, how many children have you ever seen chewing on a window sill? This whole thing is a hoax - just like the global warming bull.


41 posted on 08/25/2012 4:40:19 PM PDT by abclily
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To: Haiku Guy
How can the government compel certain speech? One could make the argument that it is illegal to defraud you tenants by failing to disclose a known hazard, such as lead paint. But how does one go from a duty do disclose to a requirement that an citizen must provide a certain pamphlet at a certain time? Shouldn’t he have the right to disclose the hazard in any manner he sees fit, and if he fails to do so adequately be subject to a tort?

How? By presuming you're functioning in your "corporate aspect," and therefore that you come under its complete control. And also presuming that if you don't refute its corporate presumption, you agree to it, and therefore are bound by it.

That's how.

42 posted on 08/25/2012 5:55:09 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: IbJensen

Who would have guessed the EPA has become more about shaking people down for money and less about actually protecting the environment.


43 posted on 08/25/2012 6:21:23 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Orange1998
Sign and Date?? wow.

It should be part of a standard lease agreement but going to check if mine contain it. If not, I guess I need to gather some signatures. What a pain.

44 posted on 08/25/2012 7:24:08 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

In a past life, I played Lanlord for about 10 years. All of the HUD renters had this enclosure as part of thier lease. Now, I honestly don’t think I could find a copy of more than a few of these nowadays in my old files. The State of Connecticut has the rest in file somewhere. How much you wanna bet we start seeing scum sucking lawyer adds that say “Have you ever rented an apartment in an older building?”

I’m guessing that the State would simply say FU or wouldn’t be able to “find” these files. and I would be out somewhere in the neighborhood of $260K on a house I eneded up sellng at a loss anyway. Screw being a landlord. Never, ever, again will I do that.


45 posted on 08/25/2012 11:29:30 PM PDT by Greenpees (Coulda Shoulda Woulda)
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To: GraceG

Nixon’s addition to the bureaucracy should be axed.


46 posted on 08/26/2012 2:06:40 PM PDT by IbJensen (Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.)
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