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EPA Settles 75 Lead Paint Cases

Thursday, October 29, 2015

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The Environmental Protection Agency entered into 75 settlements in the past year with contractors who failed to follow the federal lead paint guidelines.

The enforcement actions reflect what the agency says is an effort to protect the public from adverse health conditions brought on by exposure to lead paint dust and debris.

From October 2014 through September 2015, the EPA made those agreements with contractors who failed to follow the agency’s Lead-based Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, the EPA announced Tuesday.

The announcement came during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which started Sunday (Oct. 25) and runs through Saturday (Oct. 31).

©iStock.com / gwflash

From October 2014 through September 2015, the EPA made 75 settlements with contractors who failed to comply with the agency's policies regarding renovation involving lead-paint.

As previously reported, communities and organizations across the country this week have joined with the EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to educate the public on the dangers of lead, including lead-based paint.

The campaign is also international, as it coincides with the World Health Organization’s International Lead Poisoning Prevention 2015 Week of Action.

Failure to Comply

In its statement, the EPA said about two-thirds of the cases settled involved a contractor’s failure to obtain EPA certification prior to conducting renovations and subsequent records violations as a result. The cases, according to the agency, reflect an increased focus on ensuring that firms and renovators comply with lead-safe work practices.

Those practices are intended to protect children and others from exposure to lead dust. As previously reported, renovation activities on homes built prior to 1978 are major sources of lead dust exposure that can lead to lead poisoning.

Although lead paint was prohibited after 1978, paint and dust from nearly 40 years ago still can be found in more than 30 million homes, the EPA said. Even low levels of lead found in blood can cause behavior and learning problems; lower IQ and hyperactivity; slowed growth; hearing problems; anemia; and in rare cases, seizures; coma; and even death.

“Ensuring that lead-based paint is properly removed and handled helps protect children’s health when repairs or renovations are performed in older housing, particularly where kids live” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“These cases show that EPA is serious about making sure companies that break the law are held accountable when they undercut responsible businesses and put public health at risk.”

Contractors who are certified under EPA’s RRP program often can be verified by the agency’s “Lead-Safe” logo. However, the EPA also said consumers generally should be aware of what lead-safe practices are. Contractors performing renovation work must give owners and occupants the agency’s Renovate Right lead hazard information pamphlet within 60 days before starting any renovation.

Voluntary Abatement

In addition to the companies cited for failing to obtain certification, more than half of the cases cited violations of work practice standards and other requirements that directly affect how work is performed.

EPA

EPA made its announcement during National Lead Poisoning Prevention week, which seeks to educate the public about the dangers of lead in the blood, including lead dust from lead paint.

In three of the settlements, the contractors agreed voluntarily to fund lead-abatement projects—which require removal of lead paint and testing after the work is completed—valued at $20,000 or more each. They were:

  • Garden Homes Management Corp., of Stamford, CT, which agreed to perform a window replacement supplemental environmental project valued at $20,000. Garden Homes Management paid the largest of the penalty amounts at $56,644;
  • RDF Inc., d/b/a the nationwide network of renovation companies known as Paul Davis Restoration, of Lincoln, NE, will perform a supplemental environmental project valued at $27,304 in addition to paying a penalty of $3,033; and
  • Bordner Installation Group Inc., of Raytown, MO, which will perform a supplemental environmental project valued at $20,000 and pay a penalty of $2,198.

The following five contractors paid fines in excess of $20,000:

  • Blue Mountain Air Inc., CA, $51,030;
  • Line Construction Company, KS, $33,642;
  • The Whalley Glass Company, CT, $31,286;
  • William DeMarse, d/b/a Bill DeMarse Professional Painting, MI, $28,545; and
  • Cardo Windows Inc., NJ, $27,000.

The following 10 contractors paid of $10,000 or more:

  • Scherrer Engineering and Construction Inc., WV, $22,500;
  • Colossal Contractors Inc., MD, $21,196;
  • JSH Home Improvements LLC, PA, $19,096;
  • Blue Door Painters Inc., VA, $18,000;
  • Envirotech Inc., MO, $14,024;
  • Blue Springs Siding and Windows LLC, MO, $13,566;
  • AAPCP LC, VA,  $12,800;
  • Pella Windows & Doors, MO, $12,558;
  • Damage Control & Restoration Inc., KS, $12,194; and
  • Whitney Management & Maintenance Co., CT, $10,285.
©iStock.com / Sergei_Dubrovskii

Although lead paint was banned after 1978, the EPA said more than 30 million homes in the U.S. still have lead paint from nearly 40 years or more ago.

The EPA said it entered into expedited settlement agreements with 19 companies for minor lead-based paint violations and reduced fines, typically of $2,000 or less:

  • Hatillo LLC Home Improvement Services, CT:
  • 8AS Construction, NY;
  • Total Perfection Construction Inc., NY;
  • Chesapeake Finishing Inc., MD;
  • RLS LLC, PA;
  • Jimmy Johns Construction LLC, PA;
  • Only Bathrooms LLC, PA;
  • Ohio Laborer’s Training & Apprenticeship Trust Fund, OH;
  • Arch Environmental Group Inc., MI;
  • Northern Environmental Consultants LLC, MI;
  • Fortune Homes Inc., CO;
  • Gold Spring International Inc., CA;
  • JUV Inc., CA;
  • Southwest Construction & Property Management, CA;
  • KCK Builders Inc., CA;
  • Taber Construction Inc., CA;
  • Kitchens By Design Inc., CA;
  • All Best Builders Inc. d/b/a All Trusty Builders, CA; and
  • Wickman Development and Construction, CA.

In the following 38 settlements, the companies paid fines of less than $10,000, generally reflecting a reduction based on ability to pay:

  • DiNuzzo LLC d/b/a DiNuzzo Painting, CT;
  • John Fogg Jr. Enterprises LLC, CT;
  • Star Painting, LLC, NJ;
  • Integrated Construction Maintenance LLC, MD;
  • J & R Builders LLC, WV;
  • Elk Custom Homes Contracting Inc., PA;
  • Mark Ferrar, Hawk Mountain Soda Blasting & MARCAT VT LLC, PA;
  • CertaPro Main Line Painters, PA;
  • Robert W. Heh, Jr. Construction Co., d/b/a Window Depot USA, PA;
  • American Remodeling and Roofing Inc., PA;
  • Zook Quality Builders, PA;
  • Window World Penn-Ohio LLC, OH;
  • The Door Store of Louisville LLC, KY;
  • Castillo Construction Services Inc., FL;
  • Perdue Builders, KY;
  • Allied Doors South Florida LLC, FL;
  • Paul Sellars General Contractor, KY;
  • Tiny’s Construction LLC, TN;
  • Hammond and Brandt Builders LLC, TN;
  • The Clinard Co. Inc. d/b/a Clinard Home Improvement, TN;
  • Omni Services LLC, SC;
  • The Glass Guru, FL;
  • Rohrer Group Inc. d/b/a Window World of Akron, Ohio, OH;
  • Capitol Painting & Decorating, IL;
  • Matthew Young, MO;
  • Home Performance Services LLC, MO;
  • Custom Builders Russellville Inc., MO;
  • Accent Systems Inc. d/b/a Accent DKI, NE;
  • Tony Kapple d/b/a Kapples Building Remodeling, IA;
  • JakeCo Painting LLC, MO;
  • Springer Building & Design Inc., KS;
  • Housemasters Contracting Co., MO;
  • Brown Restoration Inc., MO;
  • Dynamic Specialties Inc. d/b/a Dynamic Porch & Patio, MO;
  • Repairs Unlimited, KS;
  • Bielenberg Builder Inc., NE;
  • C & W Harrison, MO; and
  • Superior Inspection Services Inc., OR.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA; Government; Health and safety; Lead; Lead; Lead Disclosure Rule; Lead paint abatement; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Lead test kits; Overcoating lead

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