Hanson’s and EPA Settle Dispute
Hanson’s Window and Construction, Inc., and the EPA have agreed to settle a long-running dispute regarding the company’s use in 2005 and 2006 of the EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet. While the EPA had brought two separate legal actions against Hanson’s seeking almost $1,000,000 in combined fines and penalties, from the very beginning of the legal dispute Hanson’s had defended both its conduct and its use of the lead hazard pamphlets as being in full compliance with federal and state laws.
In reaching a settlement for roughly one-twentieth of the monies the EPA sought in its pleadings, plus an agreement for the company to provide vinyl replacement windows on certain community projects in Michigan, Hanson’s legal counsel, D.S. Berenson, Managing Partner of Berenson LLP in Washington, D.C., stated, “We are gratified that the EPA has finally decided to resolve this for what we essentially consider to be a nuisance amount, and we believe the settlement reflects quite well what Hanson’s has been arguing from day one – that the case was without legal merit.”
Brian Elias, President of Hanson’s, stated, “I would have preferred after all these years of contesting this matter, to have had my day in court and fully vindicate the company’s practices during the 2005-2006 time period, but the cost of continuing to fight the EPA over this simply did not make sense in light of the settlement they agreed to.”
(OPINION NOTE: While Kachina views the fines as being a fraction of what they could have been, one also has to remember that Hanson’s probably paid quite a lot of money to defend their company. Bottom line for other contractors - don’t even chance a fine…let Kachina help you stay in compliance, before a problem occurs.)