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EPA Enforces RRP against 62 Contractors

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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Dozens of U.S. renovation contractors, painters and training providers will share a tab of more than $200,000 to settle federal violations of the Lead-based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, authorities announced.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the 62 enforcement actions Friday (Dec. 19).

The actions—55 settlements and six complaints—were issued between February and October 2014 for renovations performed on pre-1978 homes and child-care facilities.

contractor
Photos: EPA

The RRP program, which took effect in April 2010, requires lead-safe practices during any work activities that disturb lead-based paint.

These recent actions are in addition to EPA’s settlement with Lowe’s Home Improvement in April 2014, which included a $500,000 civil penalty as well as implementation of a corporate-wide RRP compliance program. 

The RRP Rule

The RRP rule, which took effect in April 2010, requires EPA certification and EPA-approved training of contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978. The measure also mandates lead-safe work practices in those structures.

Those practices, such as steps to minimize lead dust dispersion, are outlined in EPA’s Renovate Right lead hazard information pamphlet.

Allegations, Penalties

The lead-safe violations in these cases include:

  • Failure to confine lead dust;
  • Leaving lead paint chips and debris around homes and buildings;
  • Failure to cover duct openings;
  • Failure to post signs defining the work area;
  • Failure to distribute required lead information pamphlets; and
  • Recordkeeping infractions.
houses

Many homes, including private, federally assisted, federally owned housing and childcare facilities built before 1978 have lead-based paint.

Under the RRP Rule, fines may run up to $37,500 per violation.

The enforcement actions, which all require contractors to certify compliance with the RRP standards, carry a total of $213,171 in civil penalties.

In addition, two of the companies agreed to fund environmental projects that require the removal of lead-based paint and post-construction testing to ensure that no hazardous conditions remain.

Details of each company’s violations, fines and settlement are available here.

Companies Identified

Between mid-February and Sept. 30, 2014, EPA said it had settled enforcement actions with, or issued complaints against, the companies below.  

In the following settlements, the companies paid civil penalties in excess of $10,000:

  • Student Works Painting Inc. d.b.a. College Works Painting (CA) paid a $39,532 fine for violating work practice and recordkeeping requirements. 
  • Manhattan Construction Co. and Ark Wrecking Co. (OK) paid a $24,038 penalty for violating requirements for certification, information distribution, training and certification.
  • Z&B Holdings LLC d/b/a Berry Door & Window (MO) paid a $23,300 fine for violating information distribution and recordkeeping requirements, and failing to assign a certified renovator.
  • Goldman Enterprises Inc., d/b/a Paul Davis Restoration of Kansas City (MO) paid a $16,710 penalty for failure to comply with work practice standards.
  • Groen Builders Inc. (NH) paid a $14,950 penalty for violating certification and information distribution requirements, failing to ensure personnel were properly certified or trained, failing to assign a certified renovator, and failing to comply with work practice standards.
  • Tilt-In Window and Siding Co. / NJ Window & Siding Co. (NJ) paid a fine of $12,504 for failure to comply with certification, information distribution, work practice, and recordkeeping requirements.

Companies with Reduced Penalties

EPA entered into expedited settlement agreements with the 22 companies below. 

These agreements allow violators to quickly resolve certain minor lead-based paint offenses (not including work practice violations) with a reduced penalty, typically $2,000 or less.

  • Tim Jones New Look Remodeling Co. (CT)
  • Construction Education Foundation of Minnesota (MN)
  • Holman Brothers Painting (OH)
  • Think People Inc. (IL)
  • Gunton Corporation (OH)
  • Builders License Training Institute (MI)
  • Midwest Training Services LLC (MI)
  • Kaplan AEC Education (WI)
  • Vinyl Sash of Flint, Inc. (MI)
  • Wonder Makers Environmental (MI)
  • ETC Training Services Group (MI)
  • Greentree Environmental Services Inc. (IN)
  • AB Builders (CA)
  • A&D Construction (CA)
  • CF Contracting (CA)
  • Cogent Construction and Consulting (CA)
  • EF Brett (CA)
  • Nema Construction (CA)
  • Regency Construction (CA)
  • Southland Management (CA)
  • Welliver Construction (CA)
  • Dakota Remodeling LLC (OR)

In the following 27 settlements, the companies paid fines less than $10,000, generally because the penalty was reduced for an inability to pay. 

  • CDL Commercial, LLC (CT)
  • East Coast Pros (CT)
  • Gerard Therrien (NH)
  • Alstar Construction, Inc. (NJ)
  • AZ Water Man Corp. (NY)
  • JC Painter (NY)
  • Raymond Demers (NY)
  • APM Vocational Institute (VA)
  • Moyer Holdings Corp.,T/A Window World of Lehigh Valley (PA)
  • Santos D. Flores Svc. Inc. (MD)
  • Windows R Us, LLC (PA)
  • Clear Choice Windows & Sliding Inc. (IL)
  • Jim Knibbs Building & Remodeling Inc. (MI)
  • Michiana Window World Inc. (IN)
  • Richmond's Complete Home Improvement (ID)
  • ACE Service Team, LLC (MO)
  • Brackmann Construction Inc. (MO)
  • Douglas Thoman Construction (NE)
  • First Choice Builders LLC d/b/a Intext Builders (NE)
  • Jaime Diosdado (MO)
  • JDC Construction & Remodeling LLC (MO)
  • Kansas City Home Doctor Inc. (MO)
  • MCB, LLC (NE)
  • Mesa Enterprises LLC (MO)
  • M&L Construction Co. Inc. (MO)
  • Aesthetica Painting & Contracting LLC (CO)
  • Vanguard Construction Companies Ltd. (CO) 

New Complaints Issued

EPA issued complaints against the following six companies:

  • John Fogg Jr. Enterprises LLC (CT)
  • Waterway Realty LLC (NH)
  • Creative Home Builders (MO)
  • Dynamic Construction and Roofing LLC (FL)
  • Matthew Andersen d/b/a Andersen Painting (NE)
  • Zane Inc. d/b/a ServPro of Freemont/ NW Omaha Inc. (NE)

Level the Playing Field

Lead dust and debris from improper renovation activities on properties built prior to 1978 is a major source of lead exposure that can cause lead poisoning.

EPA damage

EPA says exposure to lead can have devastating effects on children, including hearing damage, behavior issues and learning disabilities.

Although using lead-based paint in dwellings was prohibited after 1978, it is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation, in all types of communities.

According to the EPA, enforcement penalties help deter violations by others in the regulated industry, and level the playing field for complying companies, since the fines help eliminate the financial advantage a violator may derive from non-compliance which, otherwise, would allow the violator to underbid its complying competitors.

   

Tagged categories: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Lead; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Maintenance coating work; Painters; Painting Contractors; Renovation; Worker training

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