Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that legislation she authored with Senator Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton) to help protect tenants from indoor air contamination passed both the Senate and Assembly. The bill (A.10952-B/S.8634) would require landlords to notify tenants of the availability of test results.
"It's only fair that we protect individuals and families who rent just like homeowners are protected when they purchase their homes," said Assemblywoman Lupardo. "The potential health risks that residents in Endicott and Hillcrest face from vapor intrusion are real and need to be known. This legislation is necessary to close the current gaps in the law that have allowed landlords to leave renters uninformed of known or suspected environmental contamination.
While there are requirements to inform property owners of certain environmental threats, there is no system in place to protect renters. In Endicott, Hillcrest and other areas across the state, renters have been unknowingly exposed to potential carcinogens, such as Trichloroethylene (TCE), even though landlords were notified about the contamination.
The legislation requires property owners to provide tenants with a fact sheet from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) which identifies the compound or contaminant of concern, along with the guidelines for indoor air quality and health risks associated with exposure. Landlords could be fined up to $500 for each violation, in addition to a fine of up to $500 for each day they are in violation.
Now that the bill has passed both the Assembly and Senate, it will be sent to Governor Paterson for his consideration. Similar legislation was vetoed last year by Governor Spitzer and in 2006 by Governor Pataki. Assemblywoman Lupardo said that she had worked with Senator Libous and staff from the Department of Environmental Conservation to craft this version of the bill.