EPA Fines Home Renovators in Several States
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that five home renovation companies are paying penalties to resolve alleged lead-based paint violations.
The EPA has reportedly found that these companies failed to comply with regulations that reduce lead-based paint hazard exposures during renovations:
According to the EPA’s release, each of the companies performed renovations on properties built prior to 1978 without an EPA-certified renovator, as required by federal law, in addition to other violations.
“Certification is a key requirement to ensure the use of safe work practices when dealing with lead-based paint,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division.
“Reducing exposure to lead—especially among children and pregnant women and in communities already overburdened with pollution exposure—is a top priority for EPA.”
The agency explains that the companies have agreed to pay over $38,000 collectively to resolve the federal Toxic Substances Control Act violations.
The EPA adds that companies and individuals that perform home renovations or hire subcontractors to perform renovations on pre-1978 housing are required to comply with regulations under the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP).
The regulations include requirements to train employees in proper work practices, obtain certification from EPA prior to performing renovations, as well as compliance with lead safety practices, records retention and notification to homeowners about the hazards of renovation-related lead exposure.
Other Recent Lead Paint Fines
At the end of last month, the EPA reached a settlement with two Maine-based companies that had reportedly violated lead-based paint disclosure requirements.
The two companies, 80 Brown Street, LLC, and Sherwood Properties, LLC, respectively own and lease four apartments in a residential building located at 80 Brown Street in Westbrook, Maine.
According to the agency, in early 2020, the EPA received a tip about a lead-based paint hazard at one of the four units at the location. Shortly after, a two-year-old was tested and reportedly found to have an elevated blood lead level.
Afterwards, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention ordered abatement of the unit and relocation of the family.
The EPA then learned that, in 2017, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services inspected the four units in the 80 Brown Street building and determined that all four contained lead-based paint and that one of the units contained lead-based paint hazards that required abatement which was subsequently completed.
Following the investigation, the EPA also learned that both companies leased the four apartments at 80 Brown Street without having disclosed to tenants the proper information about the presence of lead-based paint at the property. Two of the four units were leased to families with children.
The violations alleged against 80 Brown Street, LLC, and Sherwood Properties, LLC, include that the landlords failed to:
As part of the settlement, the companies have reportedly agreed to hire a licensed lead-abatement contractor to perform abatement at two residential properties near the 80 Brown Street property, as follows:
Additionally, both companies have agreed to pay a penalty of $37,459, spend $57,700 to perform two lead-based paint abatement supplemental environmental projects, and come into compliance with the federal lead-based paint Disclosure Rule.