EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule for RDF Inc. in Lincoln, Neb.

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., March 19, 2015) - EPA Region 7 conducted a random record-keeping inspection at RDF Inc., doing business as Paul Davis Restoration, a Lincoln, Neb., remodeling company, in December 2012, which revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. As a part of a settlement, RDF Inc. has agreed to spend $27,304 to replace windows in pre-1978 homes in Lincoln, and pay a $3,033 penalty.

According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kan., the inspection revealed that RDF Inc. failed to provide the Renovate Right pamphlet to the owner; failed to retain records for three years; failed to assign a certified renovator to each renovation; failed to keep warning signs in place until after the renovation passes post-cleaning verification; failed to clean the work area after the renovation was completed until no dust, debris or residue remained; and failed to collect all paint chips and debris and seal in a heavy duty bag. RDF Inc. also failed to ensure that collected waste was stored behind containment at the conclusion of the renovation.

RDF Inc. is a home remodeling company offering emergency renovations for fire and water-damaged homes. Emergency renovations are those performed in response to situations necessitating immediate action to address safety or public health hazards or threats of significant damage to equipment and/or property. Many renovators are unfamiliar with the limitations to emergency renovation situations. The need for immediate action relieves firms from some, but not all, lead-safe work requirements. Once the emergency renovation is over, the typical RRP rules apply.

The RRP Rule requires that contractors who work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities are trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. This ensures that common renovation and repair activities like sanding, cutting and replacing windows minimize the creation and dispersion of dangerous lead dust. EPA finalized the RRP Rule in 2008 and it took effect on April 22, 2010.

This enforcement action addresses RRP Rule violations that could result in harm to human health. Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing. Today at least 4 million households have children that are being exposed to high levels of lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood-lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which the Centers for Disease Control recommends public health actions be initiated.