EPA Fines Two Window Firms for RRP Violations

April 5, 2012

Two window companies have been fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and other lead rules. The agency has also fined a rental property owner in a previously-reported case in Maine.

On March 20, Valiant Home Remodelers, a New Jersey window and siding company, agreed to pay $1,500 to resolve violations of the RRP rule during a window and siding replacement project at a home in Edison, N.J., EPA reports. The company was charged with failing to contain renovation dust, contain waste, and train workers on lead-safe work practices.

On February 21, Johnson Sash & Door, a home repair company located in Omaha, Neb., agreed to pay a $5,558 penalty for failing to provide the owners or occupants of housing built prior to 1978 with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet or to obtain a written acknowledgement prior to commencement of renovation activities at five homes, according to the EPA. The complaint also alleged that Johnson failed to obtain initial certification prior to performing renovations at these residences.

The previously-reported case involved Colin Wentworth, a rental property owner who agreed in March to pay $10,000 to resolve violations of the RRP rule. His case first came to EPA’s attention via an anonymous tip to a YouTube video taken in October 2010, showing workers removing paint from the exterior wall of an old building in Rockland, Maine. The complaint alleged that Wentworth’s workers had violated the rule by improperly using power equipment to remove paint, and also alleged that the workers had not received any training under the rule.  Wentworth had failed to apply for firm certification with the EPA, the agency also notes.

Two of the four units in the building were rented to recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 vouchers and there were at least four children under the age of 18, including one under the age of six, living in the units. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also responded to the alleged violations, according to EPA.

As required by the law, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly. These recent actions are part of EPA’s effort to ensure that contractors and individuals follow the RRP requirements and other lead rules to protect people’s health from exposure to lead, officals state.

“Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems and affects our most vulnerable population, our children,” says Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By taking action to enforce lead rules, we are protecting people’s health and ensuring that businesses that follow the rules have a level playing field.”