The dispute arose in July 2006 when EPA inspectors conducted aninspection at Mayo's Boston offices and determined that lead paintdisclosure had not been provided to tenants prior to executinglease contracts, which violates the Toxic and Federal DisclosureRule. The properties in question range five communities inMassachusetts, many of which were constructed before 1978 and aresubject to the lead paint Disclosure Rule, according to an EPArelease.

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The Disclosure Rule gives tenants adequate information about therisks associated with lead paint in particular rental units andrelated common areas so that they may consider the risks prior toagreeing to obligations under a lease contract. It was determinedthat Mayo failed to comply with the Disclosure Rule in regard tolead-based paint on window replacements which were in units thatwere then rented.

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Taran Grigsby, general counsel for Mayo, explains, "When you owna building that was built before 1978, and you rent an apartment inthat building you are required to have the renter sign what iscalled a lead paint disclosure form. And it's a form where alandlord discloses if the lead paint was abated, encapsulated andhow are you complying with the lead paint law." The lead paintreport is then supposed to be attached to the back. That's theviolation that the EPA is alleging, that we had failed to have aresident sign the disclosure form."

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The violation is what Grigsby refers to as a "paperworkviolation", explaining that there's no way to rent a building thatdoes not comply with regulations for lead-based paint. "There wereno allegations that anyone was ever exposed to lead paint," Grigsbysays. "The lead paint law went into effect in the early 80s and allthe work had to be done by the mid-80s, which is before we boughtany of these buildings."

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This settlement comes on the heels of a $503,500 EPA BrownfieldsGrant to Boston. The three clean-up grants totaling $503,500 willhelp communities to revitalize former industrial and commercialsites. Brownfields are considered contaminated and abandonedparcels, usually discarded for cost reasons--many of which are tooexpensive to remove the damaging substances.

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Robert Varney, regional administrator of the EPA, says in astatement, "EPA's Brownfields program has had incredible successhelping New England communities revitalize overlooked and abandonedproperties." The sites to be turned-around are 191 Bowdoin St. inDorchester; 2430 Washington St. in Roxbury and Fairmount Court inHyde Park. Respectively, these sites suffer from concentrations ofheavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; volatileorganic compounds; the last of which in Hyde Park, was the formerLewis Chemical property. The Mayo properties are unrelated to theBrownfield sites.

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