(Denver, Colo. -- June 28, 2016) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached agreements with three North Dakota home renovation companies, JH & JH Properties (Fargo), Clooten Siding & Window (Bismarck), and Buechler Construction (Bismarck), to resolve alleged violations of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule). The settlements are the result of joint inspections EPA conducted with the North Dakota Department of Health in 2015 to evaluate compliance with the rule at job sites throughout Fargo and Bismarck.
The RRP Rule protects the public from toxic lead hazards created by renovation activities involving lead-based paint and requires the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities. Contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must test for lead in paint, or presume lead is present, and apply applicable lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk of exposure.
“Lead-based paint is a significant source of lead poisoning for children,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA’s regional enforcement program. “These settlements reflect EPA’s commitment to take action against companies that fail to take the necessary steps to educate residents and minimize exposure.”
Under the terms of the settlements, JH & JH Properties will pay $2,000, Clooten Siding & Window will pay $2,800, and Buechler Construction will pay $2,100 to resolve alleged violations. These include conducting work on homes built before 1978 without being an EPA RRP-certified firm; failure to inform property owners and the public of potential lead hazards; failure to have a properly trained RRP-certified renovator assigned to the project; inadequate records demonstrating RRP compliance; and, the failure to follow lead-safe work practices to minimize potential exposure.
Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can, even at low levels, cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. Despite its ban from the U.S. in 1978, EPA estimates that lead-based paint is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation.
For more information on the RRP requirements: http://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program
Violations of the lead based paint RRP Rule regulations can be reported to EPA online: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/report-environmental-violations