T&E Item I
July 23, 2015
July 21, 2015
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative
Bill 31-15, Sale ofReal Property - Radon Test - Single-family home
Bill 31-15, Sale of Real Property - Radon Test Single-family home, sponsored by Lead
Sponsors Councilmembers Rice and Katz, was introduced on June 16, 2015. A public hearing was
held on July 14.
Radon is a radioactive gas found in the air that comes from the natural breakdown of
uranium in soil, rock, and water. High levels of radon can cause serious illnesses and often occur
in single family homes in the County. Although radon remediation from a single family home is
possible, many people purchase a home without knowing if high levels of radon exist in the home.
Radon is already listed as one of the hazardous materials that a seller must disclose to the buyer of
a single-family home if the seller has actual knowledge of its existence under State law. See, Md.
Real Prop. §§1O-702, 10-603, and 10-604. As the County Attorney's Office pointed
out, State law does not create
affirmative duty for the seller to discover if radon exists in the
house. See the County Attorney Bill Review Memorandum at ©4-5.
Bill 31-15 would complement State law by requiring the seller of a single-family home to
test for radon and give the buyer a copy of the radon test results. It would also require the seller
to provide the buyer with
estimate to reduce radon under certain circumstances.
There were no speakers at the public hearing on July 14. The Council did receive written
testimony on July 21 from the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors (GCAAR) opposing
the Bill. See ©19-21.
Why test for radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer-causing, radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell,
or taste. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that radon has been
found in lout of every 15 homes tested allover the United States. Breathing air containing radon
increases a person's risk of lung cancer. Proper testing is the only way to find out if a house
contains high levels of radon.
High levels of radon can be reduced using a sub-slab
See the EPA Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon at: http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html.