Allegheny County HA, Pittsburgh, PA

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 1995-10-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

           Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator                        Audit Report 96-AO-209-1804
                                                                                                    Page 1

                                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
                                                    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20410-4500


                                                      October 12, 1995

           TO:                Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator, Pittsburgh Area Office, 3ES

           FROM:              Janice LeRoy, District Inspector General Capital District, 3GGA

           SUBJECT: Review of Contracted Lead-Based Paint Activities
                    Allegheny County Housing Authority, Pittsburgh, PA
                    Report No. 96-AO-209-1804

           This is our final audit report based our review of contracted lead-based paint activities at the
           Allegheny County Housing Authority, Pittsburgh, PA. Briefly, we concluded that the
           abatement of lead-based paint, for which the contractor was paid more than $822,000, was not
           performed in accordance with the terms of the contract. As a result, the Housing Authority
           cannot assure:

           •      Residents and workers were adequately safeguarded from exposure to lead-based paint
                  and the dust resulting from the demolition and disposal activities.

           •      Lead contaminated debris was adequately tested for hazardous waste levels.

           •      All demolition waste, hazardous or not, was disposed of in an environmentally safe


           Random tests of the Housing Authority's Burns Heights development indicated the presence
           of lead-based paint. As a consequence, the Authority entered into a demolition contract on
           December 11, 1992, to demolish the interior and remove siding from 27 buildings
           encompassing 186 units. Under the terms of the contract, the contractor was required to
           consider all existing painted surfaces as containing lead-based paint. Specifically, the
           demolition work entailed the removal and legal disposal of various materials which contain
           lead paint, or lead or which may be affixed to lead-based painted surfaces. Covered as well
           were component items which did not contain lead paint but, which may have become
           contaminated and, therefore, must be removed as lead contaminated materials.
Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator                     Audit Report 96-AO-209-1804
                                                                                      Page 2

The work was to be performed during the period January 15, 1993 and September 1, 1995,
and carried out in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations and other authorities
having jurisdiction over lead-base paint abatement procedures. All personnel of both the
demolition contractor and abatement subcontractors were to be trained prior to any work and
standard operating procedures were to be developed. Those operating procedures included
proper protective clothing and respiratory protection, removing lead-based paint in ways that
minimize spread of lead particles and dust, and packing, labeling, loading, transporting and
disposing of contaminated material in a way that minimizes exposure and contamination.

Scope of Audit

As part of a national lead-based paint review, we audited the contracted lead-based paint
activities at the Allegheny County Housing Authority and its Burns Heights development. Our
objective was to determine whether lead-based paint abatement activities, as defined in the
demolition contract for the Burns Heights development, complied with the terms of the

Our review of the Housing Authority's lead-based paint activities covered the period
December 1992 to June 1995. In performing our review, we visited the demolition site and
alleged dumping sites, interviewed Housing Authority staff, and examined contract and
abatement related documents. We performed our review in accordance with applicable
government auditing standards. On site visits were conducted in November 1994 and May
1995 and additional work was performed in our offices in Washington, DC, through July

Review Results

The $832,370 contract between Allegheny County Housing Authority and its Burns Heights
demolition contractor required the contractor to follow HUD's Interim guidelines for lead-
based paint abatement and federal hazardous waste disposal protocols. Those guidelines and
protocols specified the procedures for paint removal, dust containment techniques, resident
protection, and waste disposal requirements.

During our visits to Burns Heights in November 1994 and May 1995, we observed lead-based
paint abatement work that was not performed in accordance with the contract. Specifically,
dwellings were not contained (doors and windows fitted with plastic barriers) during
demolition to minimize dust contamination, construction workers were not wearing protective
clothing or respirators and paint chips and construction debris were thrown into dumpsters
parked on the premises.

We were also told by construction workers that the contractor was dumping waste at an
unauthorized site close to the development. We visited the site and found debris similar to
debris we observed at Burns Heights. The person claiming to be the owner of the property
was not willing to discuss where the debris came from. During a return visit to the site we
Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator                     Audit Report 96-AO-209-1804
                                                                                      Page 3

observed the alleged owner of the property burying the debris.

It does not appear that the lead-based paint aspects of the demolition work were being
monitored by either the HUD area office or the Housing Authority. Monitoring records of the
lead-based paint abatement and waste disposal were limited to a few lead tests and asbestos
disposal manifests. The Housing Authority had hired an environmental consultant. However,
most of the documented evidence of the consultant's work was related to asbestos removal,
not lead-based paint removal.

The Housing Authority reported that the demolition contractor had hired a consultant to
perform continuous environmental monitoring. However, records indicate that the consultant
only developed an environmental work plan. There was no evidence of performance


The demolition contractor was paid $822,000 to complete the demolition in an
environmentally safe manner and dispose of contaminated debris at authorized waste sites.
Because the Housing Authority did not assure the contractor performed in accordance with
the contract, the Housing Authority has not protected tenants or community residents from
potential health problems from improper lead-based paint removal and disposal and has not
assured the contractor was entitled to payment under the terms of the contract.


We recommend the Pittsburgh Area Office instruct the Allegheny County Housing Authority

1. Consult with its legal counsel to determine if there are sufficient grounds to file a claim to
recover, under the performance bond, the $822,000 paid for work not performed in
accordance with the contract as well as any additional costs related to possible contamination
issues. If so advised, take legal action against the contractor to recover damages as a result of
its nonperformance under its contract.

2. Take soil samples at the Burns Heights demolition site to determine whether tenants are at
risk and what preventative measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate health hazards.

3.   Take any preventive measures identified under recommendation 2.

4. Hire environmental consultants to provide independent environmental monitoring for all
future lead-based paint abatement work.

5. Provide lead-based paint training to Housing Authority development managers and
modernization division staff.
Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator                     Audit Report 96-AO-209-1804
                                                                                      Page 4

Plan of Corrective Action

Our draft report was provided to you for comment on August 15, 1995. Although you did not
provide written comments on the draft report, it is our understanding from telephone
conversations with you, that you did not disagree with the findings and recommendations
contained in that report.

Within 60 days please provide us, for each recommendation in this report, a status report on
the corrective action taken; the proposed corrective action and the date to be completed; or
why action is considered unnecessary. Also please furnish us copies of any correspondence or
directives issued because of the audit. In all correspondence, please use the address given

Because this audit was part of our national audit of lead-based paint contracted activities, you
will be dealing with the Capital District of the Office of Inspector General for this audit only.
Should you have any questions, please call either me or Mark A. Chandler, auditor-in-charge,
at 202-708-0351.

   Office of Audit, Capital District
   Office of Inspector General
   451 7th Street, SW Room 3154
   Washington, DC 20410-4500
           Richard M. Nemoytin, Acting Area Coordinator                      Audit Report 96-AO-209-1804
                                                                                                  Page 5

Review of Contracted Lead-Based Paint Activities—Allegheny County Housing Authority, Pittsburgh PA
Report No. 95-AO-209-1804
                                                   Distribution Schedule

        Headquarters (Non OIG)
(   )   Assistant to the Deputy Secretary for Field Management, SC, (Room 7106)
(   )   PIH Office of Construction, Rehabilitation, and Maintenance, PCB (Rm 4134)
(   )   PIH Comptroller, PF (Rm 4122)
(   )   Assistant General Counsel, Administrative Proceedings, CEP (Rm. 10251)
(   )   Director, Office Of Lead-based Paint Abatement and Poisoning Prevention, P

        Mid-Atlantic HUD Offices
( ) Mid-Atlantic Secretary's Representative, 3AS
( ) Pittsburgh Area Coordinator, 3ES
( ) Pittsburgh Area Office of Public Housing, 3EPH

(   )   Inspector General, G (Room 8256)
(   )   Deputy Inspector General, G1 (Room 8256)
(   )   Counsel to the Inspector General, GC (Room 8260)
(   )   Assistant Inspector General for Audit, GA (Room 8286)
(   )   Dep. Asst. Inspector General for Audit, GA (Room 8286)
(   )   District Inspector General, Capital District, 3GGA (Room 3154) (3)
(   )   District Inspectors General, All Other Districts
(   )   Director, ADP Audit Division, GAA (Room 8180)
(   )   Director, Research and Planning, GAP (Room 8180)
(   )   Director, Financial Audits, GAF (Room 8180)
(   )   Special Agent in Charge, Capital District, 3GGI (Room 3154)
(   )   Special Agent in Charge, Mid-Atlantic District, 3AGI
(   )   OIG Pittsburgh Office, 3AGA
(   )   Semiannual Report Coordinator, GFM (Room 8254)
(   )   Central Records, GF ATTN: MARY DICKENS (Room 8260) (2)

        Distribution Outside HUD
( ) Executive Director, Allegheny County Housing Authority
     Fidelity Building 341 Fourth Avenue Pittsburgh Pa. 15222
( ) Assistant Director in Charge, U.S. General Accounting Office
     Attn: Cliff Fowler (Suite 150), Bldg 2, 820 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

Office of Audit, Capital District, 3GGA
Room 3154 - HUD Headquarters Building
Washington, D.C. 20410