Sending Office: Honorable Keith Ellison
Sent By:
Mahyar.Sorour@mail.house.gov

Current signers: Pocan, Roybal-Allard, Jackson Lee, McGovern, Serrano, McNerney,
Cleaver, Lee, Quigley

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in urging the Environmental Protection Administration to revise the “Lessor’s Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards” form and issue new guidance around its usage. 
Countless cities, counties, rental companies, and realtors use this sample form to disclose the presence of lead paint or other hazards to potential buyers or lessees. Revising the form and issuing clarifying guidance will ensure that landlords are
accurately conveying the potential lead risk in their properties, and that tenants are fully informed about those risks.

The form’s current language misleads many buyers or lessees into thinking their properties are safe. Property owners select the same box on the form whether they’ve decided not to test their properties for lead hazards, or if they test the properties and
find no hazards present. This dangerous lack of clarity has led to the preventable poisonings of too many children.

The EPA has a responsibility to ensure that disclosures required under law are carried it out in the most transparent, accessible way possible.

To sign this letter, or if you have any questions, please contact Mahyar Sorour at
mahyar.sorour@mail.house.gov by December 15th, 2017.

Sincerely,

Keith Ellison

Member of Congress

 

**Text of Letter**

 

The Honorable Scott Pruitt

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 30460

 

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

We write to request the Environmental Protection Agency revise the “Lessor’s Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards” form and issue new guidance around its usage.  

Revising the form and issuing clarifying guidance will ensure that tenants are fully informed and landlords are encouraged to use the form and ensure lead abatement in their properties. This form is used by property owners to alert renters of potential lead-based
hazards in the property. However, the form’s current language is vague, which puts children and families at risk for exposure to lead in their home. Revising the form and issuing clarifying guidance will ensure that landlords are accurately conveying the potential
lead risk in their properties, and that tenants are fully informed about those risks.

As you may know, the current sample form allows lessors to check two options: “Known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards are present in the housing;” or “Lessor has no knowledge of lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing.”
We believe that this language could encourage property owners to refrain from testing their properties for lead hazards, especially if such hazards likely exist in the property. Once a property owner has confirmed a lead hazard through testing, they must either
disclose the hazard or invest substantial resources in abating it. However, the second box is checked whether the owner refuses to test the property or the owner tests the property and finds no lead hazards. This creates confusion for renters, who may assume
that such a check mark means their children are safe from lead exposure.

For the sake of clarity to renters, we urge the EPA to include additional options:

  1. “Known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards are present in the housing.”
  2. “No lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards are present in the housing.”
  3. “Owner has not tested for lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards.”

Including an additional option ensures that the potential renter is fully informed and the risks the housing may present to their family. I look forward to a response and status update by January 5th, 2018.

Sincerely,

Keith Ellison

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Environment, Ethics and Standards, HealthCare, Judiciary, Natural Resources, Science

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0