T&E Item 2
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
H. Drummer, Senior Legislative
Worksession 2: Bill 31-15, Sale of Real Property - Radon Test - Single-family
Bill 31-15, Sale of Real Property - Radon Test - Single-family home, sponsored by Lead
Sponsors Councilmembers Rice and Katz, was introduced on June 16,20 IS. A public hearing was
held on July 14 and a Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee
worksession was held on July 23.
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 ifhigh levels ofradon 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 ifthe seller has actual knowledge of its existence under State law. See, Md.
Code Ann., Real Prop. §§1O-702, 10-603, and 10-604. As the County Attorney's Office pointed
out, State law does not create an 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.
would also require the seller
to provide the buyer with an 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.
T&E Committee Worksession July
Lisa Feldt, DEP Director, and Walter Wilson, County Attorney's Office, represented the
Executive Branch. Meredith Weisel, representing the Greater Capital Area Association of
Realtors, also answered questions from the Committee. The Committee reviewed the Bill and
discussed radon test reliability, procedures, and remediation of high levels of radon. The
Committee requested more information on the cost to test for radon and remediate and efforts by
other local jurisdictions to reduce radon exposure.