The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced enforcement actions that will require 35 home renovation contractors and training providers to take additional steps to protect communities by minimizing harmful lead dust from home renovation activities, as required by the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Standards. These standards provide important, front-line protection for children and others vulnerable to exposure to lead dust that can cause lead poisoning.
“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 settlements, issued between May 2013 and January 2014, include 17 contractors that failed to obtain required certification prior to performing renovation activities on pre-1978 homes, where lead is more likely to be present. In addition, 21 settlements involve violations for failure to follow required lead-safe work practices, and three cases involve general contractors who failed to ensure their subcontractors followed the RRP standards.
The enforcement actions, which all require contractors to certify compliance with the RRP standards, led to more than $274,000 in civil penalties.
Three of the companies agreed to fund environmental projects to benefit communities. HarenLaughlin Construction and Exterior Energy Consultants will fund lead abatement work at local properties, while the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges will provide tuition-free, EPA accredited training courses to renovators expected to work on projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The RRP standards, which are part of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, are intended to ensure that owners and occupants of housing built before 1978 and child-occupied facilities receive information on lead-based paint hazards before renovations begin, that individuals performing such renovations are properly trained and certified by EPA, and that, during renovations, specific work practices are followed to reduce the potential for lead-based paint exposure.
Contractors that are certified under EPA’s RRP standards are encouraged to display EPA’s “Lead-Safe” logo on worker’s uniforms, signs, websites, and other material, as appropriate. Consumers can protect themselves by looking for the logo before hiring a home contractor.
Click here to be introduced to the EPA