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17 Firms Hit with Lead-Paint Violations

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

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Federal authorities have caught 17 remodelers, painters and other contractors violating the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the enforcement actions, which consist of 15 administrative settlements and two complaints, on Thursday, May 2.

lead based paint
Hawaii.gov

EPA has announced RRP enforcement actions carrying thousands of dollars in penalties against 17 contractors.

The cases address many serious RRP Rule violations, including the companies’ failure to:

  • Obtain certification prior to performing or offering to perform renovation activities on pre-1978 homes;
  • Failure to follow lead-safe work practices;
  • Failure to provide lead-hazard information to property owners;
  • Failure to establish and maintain records;
  • Failure to post signs defining work areas; and
  • Failure to contain waste from renovation activities.

“Using lead-safe work practices is good business and it’s the law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“EPA is taking action to enforce lead rules to protect people from exposure to lead and to ensure a level playing field for contractors that follow the rules.”

The announcement of the enforcement activity comes nearly three months after an audit found the EPA’s costs exceeded collections in the multi-million dollar range.

Enforcement Requirements

In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars in fines imposed, the settlements require the contractors to certify that they have come into compliance with the requirements of the RRP Rule, according to the agency.

Renovate Right

The failure to provide lead-safe pamphlets was among the rule violations included in the enforcement actions.

Additionally, in the three administrative complaints the EPA filed, it seeks civil penalties of up to the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation.

As required by the Toxic Substances Control Act, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly.

Companies that Settled

EPA settled with the following companies. Details of each case, including penalty fines disclosed, are available by clicking on the company name listed below.

Many of the companies qualified as “micro-businesses” under the Pilot RRP Penalty Program for Micro-Businesses and were assessed significantly reduced fines, EPA said.

A violating company is eligible for this penalty program if it has a gross pre-tax revenue of $300,000 or less. Fines imposed on these companies are no more than $4,000.

Complaints Issued

Administrative complaints have been filed against the following companies. More information is available by clicking on the company name below.

Proposed penalties are $90,750 and $116,500, respectively.

The RRP rule requires that contractors who work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities be trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. EPA finalized the RRP rule in 2008; it took effect April 22, 2010.

Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing, the agency says.

Inspector Audit

In February, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General said that federal oversight of lead-based paint rules, including RRP, was operating on a $16.4 million deficit.

The Inspector recommended associated fees updated as well as biennial cost reviews.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; Health and safety; Lead; Lead paint abatement; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Maintenance + Renovation; Maintenance coating work; Painting Contractors; Renovation

Comment from William Cornelius, (5/8/2013, 8:33 AM)

"The enforcement activity comes nearly three months after an audit found the EPA’s costs exceeded collections in the multi-million dollar range." That pretty much says it all.


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