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College Pro Gets ‘F’ in Lead Case

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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A national house-painting company will pay a $7,200 fine and spend $65,000 on a lead-abatement project to settle claims that it failed to provide homeowners with lead-hazard information before starting 41 projects in four states.

The College Pro Painters’ office in Woburn, MA, failed to provide required lead-hazard pamphlets to homeowners in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire on at least 41 occasions—28 in 2008 and 13 in 2009, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

 College Pro Painters’ office in Woburn, MA, failed to provide homeowners with an EPA-approved lead-paint hazard pamphlets.

 EPA

College Pro Painters’ office in Woburn, MA, failed to provide homeowners with an EPA-approved lead-paint hazard pamphlets.

The company did not respond to requests for comment on the settlement.

Missing Pamphlets

Distribution of the pamphlets is required by EPA’s Pre-Renovation Lead Information Rule, which took effect in 2008.

EPA said it had discovered the failures to notify during an October 2009 inspection of College Pro’s New England office.

EPA said it had sent letters explaining the Pre-Renovation Rule to College Pro and more than 600 other painting companies, contractors, and remodeling firms in June 2006. In 2007, the agency began inspecting some of the businesses that had received letters.

Student-Run Business

Maryland-based College Pro, an interior and exterior house painting company, has more than 300 franchisees operating in 28 states and seven Canadian provinces.

Started by a college student in 1971, the company is a “student-run” painting and window cleaning company that hires college students as employees and franchise owners.

 College Pro Painters bills itself as “the largest and most successful student painting company in North America.”

 College Pro

College Pro Painters bills itself as “the largest and most successful student painting company in North America.”

However, the work at issue in this case was performed by College Pro employees or contractors, not franchisees, EPA said.

The company’s website notes that it is an EPA Certified Renovation Firm, certified to perform interior and exterior painting services for homes that have lead-based paint.

The Pre-Renovation Rule

The federal Pre-Renovation Rule and Toxic Substances Control Act require companies to provide an EPA-approved lead-hazard information pamphlet to occupants or owner before beginning painting or renovation projects that disturb more than six square feet of interior or 20 square feet of exterior painted surfaces in homes built before 1978.

The rule aims to educate owners or occupants on minimizing their exposure to hazardous lead dust generated during painting projects in older homes.

In addition to paying the penalty, College Pro will spend $65,000 to replace or restore 79 windows that likely contain lead paint at Congregation Eitz Chayim (Harvard Hillel Children’s School) in Cambridge, MA.

That project must be completed within 150 days of the settlement agreement, EPA said.

   

Tagged categories: EPA; Franchise; Health and safety; Lead paint abatement; Residential

Comment from Robert Burke, Burke Painting Company in Wilmington, DE, (8/30/2012, 7:10 AM)

Go College Pro, You go boys!


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