Thursday, October 25, 2018

Renovation Company to Pay $53K in EPA Fines Due to Missing Paperwork

epa euro tech settlement lead paint
A Chicago-area roofing and renovation company will pay $53,000
as part of a settlement with the EPA for failing to provide
records of their lead renovation projects.

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) settled with a Chicago-area roofing and renovation company over alleged lead paint law violations. The company, Euro-Tech, Inc., has agreed to pay nearly $53,000 in civil penalties and take steps to comply with federal lead paint laws.

According to the lead paint lawsuit, Euro-Tech performed renovations on 42 properties that fell under the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. These properties were homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned from use in residences. Allegedly, Euro-Tech failed to present to EPA the necessary documentation that ensured the projects were in compliance with federal law.

As a result, Euro-Tech actually violated two laws- the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. These federal laws require extensive recordkeeping of projects that disturb lead-based paint in order to protect the public from toxic lead dust. Lead dust can be released into the air, soil, or nearby water supply when debris from remodeling projects is not properly cleared.

Exposure to lead paint dust is associated with blood, bone and neurological disorders. Children are especially susceptible to lead poisoning as the neurotoxin can damage their developing bodies. Childhood lead poisoning can result in irreversible cognitive delays. Both EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that no amount of lead exposure is considered "safe" for children.

"Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing the associated health impacts is a top priority for the EPA. This settlement protects Illinois communities by ensuring that lead paint rules and regulations are followed," Cathy Stepp, administrator of EPA's Chicago-based Region 5 office, said in a recent press release.

Failure to maintain accurate records of a lead paint project is one of the most common violations of the RRP Rule. There are many tools available for contractors to maintain records of their work. Zack Academy has also put together a useful checklist of some of the most important documentation needed for an RRP job. Because EPA and other governing bodies can audit these projects for up to three years after completion and not just on the jobsite, it's important for lead renovators to document their work.

To learn more about the settlement, visit EPA's website. To learn more about lead paint certification, visit Zack Academy.

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