Lead-based paint is not to be taken lightly whether you’re a renovation contractor, landlord or property manager. Violations can be incredibly costly.
For instance, Sears Home Improvement Products, Inc. failed to provide documentation regarding the requirement to:
- Assign certified renovators.
- Provide certification of compliance.
- Provide on-the-job training for workers.
- Comply with lead-safe work practice standards, including post-cleaning verification.
- Establish and maintain records or make available, permit access to or copying of records.
As a result, the proposed Consent Decree requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $400,000, and perform enhanced compliance measures company-wide.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 125 federal enforcement actions completed over the last year involving alleged noncompliance with at least one of the EPA’s lead-based paint requirements:
- Toxic Substances Control Act.
- Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.
- Lead-based Paint Activities Rule.
- Lead Disclosure Rule pursuant to the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act.
Cases ranged from small businesses to major companies. According to the EPA, “in a criminal prosecution in New York, realtor Maureen Walck pled guilty to knowingly and willfully violating the Lead Disclosure Rule’s requirements to disclose lead-based paint information to a prospective home buyer, whose child was later diagnosed with lead poisoning.” The charge carries a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.
Lima Refining Co., settled alleged Clean Air Act violations through a civil judicial agreement. It includes a project valued at $1,750,000 to eliminate lead risks in local low-income residences with children or pregnant women, and a $1 million penalty.
Collectively, the settlements require alleged violators to pay $1,046,891 in penalties, and that’s even with the EPA reducing several penalties. The state, local authorities, clients, and other companies can all report unsafe lead paint practices.