Tuesday, March 12, 2019

EPA Settles with Construction Firms for $35K in Lead Paint Fines

power tools and sawdust
Two Bay Area construction companies are set to pay
more than $35,000 in combined fines for violations
of federal lead paint laws that put workers and
residents at risk for lead exposure.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) settled with two California-based construction companies for violations of federal lead paint laws. Seismic Retrofitters, Inc., located in San Francisco and All Seasons Construction, located in Oakland are set to pay $27,000 and $8,500 in penalties, respectively.

According to inspection reports from EPA, both companies failed to comply with federal lead-safe practices set by the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Among the violations, the companies were found to have:
  • Failed to comply with occupant notification requirements such as telling residents about the renovations in advance of projects
  • Failed to retain proper records of projects such as ensuring that a certified renovator performed post-renovation cleaning verification
  • Failed to possess required lead paint renovation certifications
EPA's RRP Rule requires contractors working in housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978 to adhere to strict renovation rules in order to protect workers and residents from lead paint exposure. Exposure to lead-based paint can cause a myriad of health issues such as bone, blood and neurological disorders. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous for children as their systems are still developing and any interference can cause irreversible outcomes.

Lead-based paint has been outlawed at the consumer level since 1978; however, many old buildings still contain the toxin. Unregulated renovations can release lead particles into the air, soil, and water supply. As a result, it's extremely important for all contractors to take precaution when disturbing structures that may contain lead.

"Reducing childhood lead exposure and its health impacts is a top priority for EPA. We will continue to diligently enforce our requirements to ensure children, workers, and residents are properly informed and protected," Mike Stoker, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator, said in a recent press release.

To learn more about the report, visit EPA's website. To learn more about lead paint certification and how your company can avoid costly fines, visit Zack Academy.