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37 Contractors Settle RRP Lead Cases

Friday, February 21, 2014

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Dozens of commercial and residential contractors and trainers will share responsibility for more than $274,000 in fines for violating federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting standards, authorities have announced.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced settlement agreements Feb. 18 against 35 contractors and training providers nationwide. 

The list includes a school renovation case in Maine, in which EPA cited both the general contractor and a subcontractor for violations

EPA-RRP-Certification
EPA

Seventeen contractors were cited for failing to obtain required certification before working on pre-1978 homes.

The RRP rule, which took effect in April 2010, requires EPA certification and EPA-approved training of contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978. The measure also mandates lead-safe work practices in those structures.

Leveling the Playing Field

“Families deserve the peace of mind that home renovations occur without harming children,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“Businesses that play by the rules deserve to compete on a level playing field. EPA will continue to enforce the nation’s lead rules to protect the public from illegal and dangerous lead exposure.”

The 35 settlements, finalized between May 2013 and January 2014, include 17 contractors that failed to obtain required certification before performing renovation activities on pre-1978 homes. Lead was banned in residential paint that year, but millions of U.S. homes still have lead paint, authorities say.

Twenty-one settlements involve violations for failure to follow required lead-safe work practices; three cases involve general contractors who failed to ensure their subcontractors followed the RRP standards.

LeadPamphlet
EPA

The violations included failure by contractors to distribute required lead information pamphlets to customers.

The lead-safe violations include failure to confine lead dust; leaving lead paint chips and debris around homes and buildings; failure to cover duct openings; failure to post signs defining the work area; failure to distribute required lead information pamphlets; and recordkeeping infractions.

Under the RRP Rule, fines may run up to $37,500 per violation.

The enforcement actions, which all require contractors to certify compliance with the RRP standards, carry a total of more than more than $274,000 in civil penalties. In addition, three of the companies agreed to fund environmental projects.

Details of each company's violations, fines and settlement are available here.

Companies Identified

The EPA identified these companies as the subjects of enforcement actions:

  • Alaska Commercial Contractors Inc. (Juneau, AK)
  • Bill Vizzo Contractors LLC (Shelton, CT)
  • Collegiate Entrepreneurs Inc. (Braintree, MA)
  • Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development / New Jersey Council of Community Colleges (Trenton, NJ)
  • D&S Construction of Western Ohio LLC (Sidney, OH)
  • Dennis Barker (Fairbury, NE)
  • Devex Construction LLC (Greenwood Village, CO)
  • Dura-Plex Inc. (Brick, NJ)
  • Environmental Engineering & Technology Inc. (Newport News, VA)
  • Exterior Energy Consultants Inc. (Gladstone, MO)
  • Hannegan Construction Company (St. Charles, MO)
  • HarenLaughlin Construction (Lenexa, KS)
  • Hernandez Painting (Hempstead, NY)
  • James J. Welch & Co. Inc. (Salem, MA)
  • James L. and Dona D. Jungers (Lincoln, NE)
  • Jason Madura (Warsaw, MO)
  • Kachina Contractor Solutions LLC (Elkins Park, PA)
  • M&J Environmental Institute (Maple Grove, MN)
  • Midwest College Painters LLC (Bloomfield, MI)
  • New Hampshire Plate Glass Corp. (Portsmouth, NH)
  • Nezerka Enterprises LLC d/b/a Certa Pro Painters (Shawnee Mission, KS)
  • Painting Done Right (Lincoln, NE)
  • Philip Thornton and Stanley Thornton (Marshall, MO)
  • Professional Training Associates Inc. (Duquesne, PA)
  • Prudent Technologies Inc. (Kansas City, MO)
  • Ritchie Enterprises Inc. d/b/a Puroclean Emergency Restoration Services (Sullivan, MO)
  • Rothers Inc. d/b/a Rothers Design/Build (Kansas City, KS)
  • Samuel M. Lewis (Columbus, OH)
  • Schryer Thompson Construction Inc. (Concord, CA)
  • The Home Hero LLC (Philadelphia, PA)
  • The Training Network Inc. (Oak Hill, VA)
  • Thermo-Twin Industries Inc. (Oakmont, PA)
  • Thomas Breuer Construction (Sioux Falls, SD)
  • Van Dyk Construction (Littleton, CO)
  • VanPool Painting Inc. (Juneau, AK)

Additional Projects

HarenLaughlin Construction, a general contractor founded in 1932, and Exterior Energy Consultants, a family-owned home improvement business founded in 1984, will fund lead abatement work at local properties.

HarenLaughlin
HarenLaughlin Construction

Haren Laughlin Construction was fined $2,786 for multiple violations and will perform lead abatement at several properties. EPA says the project is worth $24,500.

The New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, a Trenton-based consortium of 19 county colleges, will provide tuition-free, EPA-accredited training courses to renovators expected to work on projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

EPA says the colleges "failed to meet minimum training hour requirements and failed to teach all of the elements required for the hands-on portion of the Renovator Initial course."

The course inspected "did not teach proper use of lead test kits, interior cleaning following a renovation, and visual inspection procedures to ensure proper cleaning of renovation work areas," according to EPA.

School Contractors Cited

The Boston school settlement involves general contractor James J. Welch & Co. Inc., of Salem, MA, and subcontractor New Hampshire Plate Glass Corp. of Portsmouth, NH.

FrisbeeSchool
Wikimedia Commons / John Phelan

The EPA reduced fines against the GC and a window subcontractor for violations in renovating the Frisbee School of Kittery, ME. The school was built in 1941.

The project involved the conversion of a former school into a community center. The EPA found that NH Plate Glass had violated several requirements of the RRP rule in removing storm windows that contained lead-based paint. JJ Welch was also held liable for failing to contain renovation waste.

However, the final settlement sharply reduced the fines in the case. Welch's original fine of $28,125 was reduced to $3,465; NH Plate Glass's fine of $90,750 was reduced to $10,890.

   

Tagged categories: Commercial contractors; General contractors; Good Technical Practice; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Painting Contractors; Residential contractors; Subcontractors

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