The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two settlements in San Diego County, California, for violations of federal regulations related to lead.
[One company] based in San Marcos, will pay a $22,275 penalty. [Another] based in San Diego, will pay a $20,454 penalty.
These companies failed to comply with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which requires them to take steps to protect the public from exposure to lead.
“Exposure to lead-based paint is one of the most common sources of lead poisoning in children,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “It is important that contractors be EPA certified and use lead safe work practices when working on homes with lead-based paint.”
VIOLATIONS AND ENFORCEMENT
EPA inspections found that [the first company] performed renovations at multiple homes in the San Diego area without being EPA-certified to conduct such work in pre-1978 housing, where lead-based paint is assumed to be present. The companies also failed to keep records indicating compliance with lead-safe work practices and did not ensure that a certified renovator was involved as required.
In addition to the penalties, each company committed to make corrections to their operations, including becoming EPA-certified.
These EPA enforcement actions reinforce EPA’s commitment to address childhood lead exposure. Though harmful at any age, lead exposure is most dangerous to children below the age of six. Lead exposure can cause behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. Although the federal government banned consumer use of lead-containing paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.
The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule was created to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities, such as schools, that were built before 1978. The rule requires that individuals performing renovations be properly trained and certified and follow lead-safe work practices.
- The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule establishes requirements for firms and individuals performing renovations, and affects contractors, property managers, and others who disturb painted surfaces. It applies to work in houses, apartments, and child-occupied facilities (such as schools and day-care centers) built before 1978. It includes pre-renovation education requirements as well as training, firm certification, and work practice requirements.
- In general, anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 must be certified. This includes all firms, even sole proprietorships – residential rental property owners/managers, general contractors and special trade contractors, including painters, plumbers, carpenters and electricians.
- Firms can’t advertise or perform renovation activities covered by the regulation in homes or child occupied facilities built before 1978 without firm certification.
- Firms that perform renovations for compensation in residential houses, apartments, and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 are required to distribute EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet “Renovate Right” BEFORE starting renovation work.
- The firm must document compliance with this requirement; EPA’s pre-renovation disclosure form may be used for this purpose.
You can learn more about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and program at https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program.
Learn about certification and training requirements for renovation firms at https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-contractors
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Please be sure the contractors you hire for these jobs are RRP certified and are fulfilling all of the necessary EPA requirements. AOA has the “Renovate Right” booklet available and also offers the required RRP Certification classes. Please check our upcoming seminars and events for the next available class at www.aoausa.com and reserve YOUR seat if you have not yet become certified.]