EPA Settles with CA Firms Over Lead Paint
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday (Aug. 27) that it has settled with five Southern California-based construction firms for violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Reports say that the companies involved failed to protect workers and the public from lead exposure, breaking federal regulations which resulted in a combined total of over $64,000 in settlements.
According to the EPA news release, Pacific Home Remodeling Inc. (Los Angeles), Create RE Inc. (El Segundo, California) and Ameko APS Inc. (Pomona, California) were all guilty of performing renovation work without proper EPA certification.
For its missing EPA certification, various worker certifications, poor record-keeping, verifications and the failure to contain waste from renovation activities, Pacific Home has agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.
Along with its EPA certification violation, Create also received penalty charges for its failure to clean the worksite of dust, debris and residue, in addition to lacking proper paperwork demonstrating the firm’s compliance with lead-safe work practices. Create will be paying a $5,135 civil penalty.
Ameko has also agreed to pay a $9,000 civil penalty for its lack of an EPA certification, failure to retain proper records and failure to provide clients with the “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” brochure about lead-safe work practices.
Another company, Hartman Baldwin Inc. (Claremont, California), has also settled with the EPA, agreeing to pay a $12,897 civil penalty for its failure to renew its EPA certification and continuing to work between 2015 and 2019. Hartman has also been penalized for its lack of proper records and failure to post warning signs indicating present potential dangers at its worksites.
The final company reported to be settling with the EPA at this time is McNamara Realty (San Luis Obispo, California) for over 100 violations of TSCA’s Disclosure Rule. Among the various penalties, some of McNamara’s charges point to ill-disclosing of potential lead-based paint hazards, failure to provide lead warning statements and the failure to distribute the federal “Protect Your Family from Lead in your Home” brochure. McNamara is expected to pay $32,000 in civil penalties.
“Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These settlements protect Southern California communities by ensuring that lead paint rules and regulations are followed.”
In addition to the above-mentioned penalties, the EPA reports that all firms involved have since made corrections to its operations and have become APE-certified, if they were not already.
Other Recent Settlements
According to reports, Seismic Retrofitters Inc., located in San Francisco, and All Seasons Construction, located in Oakland, were slated to pay about $27,000 and $8,500 in penalties, respectively.
The EPA’s investigations found both Seismic Retrofitters and All Seasons failed to comply with occupant notification requirements in advance of renovations, lacked required lead paint renovation certifications, did not retain proper records, such as those ensuring that a certified renovator performed on-the job training for workers and performed post-renovation cleaning verification.
The latter two of the violations are in relation to the “Toxic Substances Control Act’s Renovation, Repair and Repainting” rule and the “Pre-Renovation Education” rule, which require contractors working in housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978 to follow practices that minimize lead exposure and inform residents how to protect themselves from lead exposure.