Thursday, March 31, 2016

EPA Requires Southern California Contractor to Warn Residents of Lead-based Paint Dangers

The EPA recently fined G.D. Friend, Inc. (operating as Everlast Home Energy Solutions) $28,564 for failing to comply with the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule while performing renovation work at two residential properties in Southern California.

“Renovation work in older homes can create hazardous lead dust, but there are simple steps contractors can take to keep everyone safe,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA will take enforcement action against companies to ensure they follow proper lead-safety procedures.”

G.D. Friend, located in Anaheim, Calif., installs energy efficient home improvement products, such as windows and siding. An EPA inspection found that in February and March 2014, the company performed work at two pre-1978 residential properties in Anaheim and La Verne without:
Lead paint poisoning is often considered an issue that was eradicated years ago. However, recent studies on child lead levels have shown that despite increased efforts by contractors to follow lead safe practices, children residing in homes under renovation are 30% more likely to have an unsafe level of lead in their blood than those in homes that were not under renovation. Even basic renovation or repair work being performed by contractors including plumbers, electricians, and window replacement specialists can lead to invisible, harmful dust from disturbing lead paint.

To work towards completely eliminating the hazardous effects lead poisoning can have, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a new certification required for all contractors, renovators, and painters who work in pre-1978 homes and/or child-occupied facilities. For EPA lead certification, companies must register and pay a fee with EPA, and individuals must take a one-day lead safety training course approved by the EPA to become a certified renovator. The EPA lead certification is good for five years.

The Lead Based Paint Renovation Repair and Painting Program (RRP) involves pre-renovation and work practice requirements in addition to the firm and individual certification. Contractors, property managers, and other renovation workers must distribute a lead pamphlet from the EPA describing the hazards of lead before starting renovation work. The required EPA pamphlet is titled Lead Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right, and the EPA mandates that the renovation contractor or worker must keep record of the tenant or owner's receipt of the pamphlet.

Please see our EPA Lead Certification RRP Overview for more information on how to stay compliant and save lives!

Visit the EPA for the complete press release.

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