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Judgment for EPA Affirmed in Toxic Substances Control Act Action

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By FindLaw Staff on July 28, 2010 1:48 PM

Vidiksis v. EPA, No. 09-12544, involved an action by the EPA against defendant-property owner and lessor alleging violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for the EPA, on the grounds that 1) the Lead Hazard Act contained specific language to be provided in sales transactions, and the EPA had the authority to issue regulations under that language; 2) there was no specific statutory requirement that the EPA adjust downward for lack of prior history, and it simply must be considered as a factor; and 3) any responsibility on behalf of an agent did not obviate the lessor's responsibility.

As the court wrote:  "In 2005, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") filed an administrative complaint against Petitioner John P. Vidiksis. The complaint alleged 69 violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act section 409, 15 U.S.C. § 2689; the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4851-4856; and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder. An Administrative Law Judge for the EPA ("ALJ") found Vidiksis liable on each of the 69 counts and assessed a civil penalty of $97,545. On appeal, the Environmental Appeals Board ("EAB") affirmed the decision of the ALJ as to the liability finding and the penalty amount. Vidiksis has now appealed to this court. As explained further below, we AFFIRM the EAB's ruling on liability and on the penalty amount."

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