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CA Firm Enters Lead Safety Settlement

Monday, December 19, 2016

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A California company that specializes in coatings and window installation has settled with government regulators over alleged failure to employ federally mandated lead-safety practices.

Lead hazard
© iStock.com / darrentownsend

The RRP Rule requires contractors who work in pre-1978 homes or facilities occupied by children to be certified in lead-safe practices, educate homeowners about lead hazards, and follow and document their lead-safe practices.

Anaheim-based Powerstar Home Energy Solutions, which reportedly also does business as Smithlum & Friend Inc., will pay $11,429 in civil penalties and spend another $34,000 to purchase equipment to help test blood lead levels in children in San Bernardino and Orange Counties.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement Dec. 13.

Certification, Education Failures

The violations stem from the agency’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. According to the EPA, Powerstar failed to:

  • Become certified by EPA to perform residential work;
  • Distribute the “Renovate Right” brochure to educate occupants about lead-safe work practices; and
  • Keep complete records documenting whether the work followed lead-safe practices.

The lead-safety shortcomings were allegedly observed on jobs at several residential properties in Southern California.

The $34,000 investment the company agreed to as part of the settlement will pay for blood analyzers for 10 area community health clinics. The kits will be enough to test 480 children for potentially dangerous blood lead levels, according to the EPA.

Powerstar Home Energy Solutions did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday (Dec. 15).

RRP Requirements

The EPA’s RRP Rule requires contractors who work in pre-1978 homes or facilities occupied by children to be certified in lead-safe practices, educate homeowners about lead hazards, and follow and document their lead-safe practices.

During fiscal year 2016, the EPA administered 123 settlements related to the RRP Rule, worth more than $1 million total.

Lead, which was a component of many paints prior to being banned for residential use in 1978, has been shown to detrimentally affect almost every organ in the body, according to the EPA. It can lead to behavior problems, low IQ, slowed growth and anemia, among other issues, especially in children.

To learn more about the RRP Rule, click here.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Lead; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP); Renovation

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