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CA Companies Settle Lead Lapses

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

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One of the largest lessors of single-family residences in the U.S. and a California general contractor will pay more than $46,000 to settle allegations involving lead-based paint regulations.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Oakland-based Waypoint Homes Inc., and Santa Ana-based Calspec Enterprises (d/b/a CalBath & Kitchen), violated EPA’s Lead-based Paint Disclosure rule and its Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule, respectively, at several residential properties in Southern California.

“Lead-based paint is the main source of lead poisoning for children, which can cause learning disabilities and behavior problems,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

remodeling
©iStock.com / Ceneri

Calspec Enterprises performs kitchen and bath remodeling projects. The image above does not depict the circumstances in this case.

“EPA will take enforcement action against companies that fail to take the necessary steps to notify tenants or train workers to protect children, families and workers.”

Lead Disclosure Case

The Lead-based Paint Disclosure rule requires owners and managers of residential properties built before 1978 to provide prospective tenants notice about lead-based paint prior to signing a lease. 

EPA discovered that Waypoint Homes entered into leases at five pre-1978 homes located in Riverside and San Bernardino in 2013 without properly disclosing information about lead-based paint or lead hazards to tenants—including the federal “Lead Warning Statement” in the lease contract—and confirming that tenants received the federal “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” brochure.

As a result, Waypoint has paid a fine of $25,340, EPA said.

The disclosure law is meant to ensure that prospective tenants have enough information about lead paint in general and at a property to make an informed decision about renting there, according to the EPA.

RRP Violations

Calspec Enterprises performs residential bathroom and kitchen renovations in Southern California. 

EPA found that between April 2012 and May 2014, Calspec renovated three residential properties in Cypress, Newport Beach, and Norwalk without:

  • Ensuring that residents received the federal “Renovate Right” brochure before the renovations took place;
  • Assigning a certified renovator to the renovations and ensuring that all workers were certified renovators or trained by a certified renovator; and
  • Maintaining required records documenting that warning signs were posted, work areas were contained, and a certified renovator performed post-renovation cleaning verifications.

Under the settlement terms, CalSpec will pay $21,210 for the alleged violations of the RRP rule, according to the EPA. 

lead removal
©iStock.com / j4m3z

Contractors who work on pre-1978 residences and child-occupied facilities are required to be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices.

The RRP rule is a part of the Toxic Substances Control Act. It requires that contractors who work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities to be trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. EPA finalized the RRP rule in 2008; it took effect April 22, 2010.

Other Recent Cases

EPA has also taken recent action against three additional Southern California companies.

USS Cal Builders Inc., located in Stanton, has paid a $1,000 penalty for violating the RRP rule. ColFin AI-CA 4 LLC, a subsidiary of Colony American Homes based in Santa Monica, and Port Street Realty Corporation located in San Juan Capistrano, have penalties totaling $4,690 for violating the Disclosure rule.

   

Tagged categories: EPA; Lead; Lead Disclosure Rule; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Regulations; Residential Construction; Residential contractors

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