The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 has reached settlements with 22 residential home renovators in Idaho and Washington for violations of federal lead-based paint regulations. EPA’s compliance and enforcement program also conducted 137 inspections of home renovation contractors, the highest number of inspections the region has completed in previous years, half of which were in communities with environmental justice concerns. EPA is highlighting these cases as part of this year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, and Children’s Health Month, to raise awareness about children’s environmental health, including the dangers and potential health impacts of lead.
“Lead exposure has disproportionately affected communities of color and low-income residents for far too long,” said EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “Our actions are helping to protect families, workers, and customers while increasing accountability and transparency. EPA’s efforts are helping to raise community awareness and ensure companies comply with certification, training, and safety requirements to reduce lead-based paint health hazards.”
The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule was created to protect the public –especially children under the age of 6– from lead-based paint hazards during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. Lead exposure can cause behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.
Renovators of pre-1978 housing are required by federal law to obtain EPA Firm Certification under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. They must also obtain renovator certification or assign certified renovators to projects; inform tenants and residents of possible lead-based paint and/or known lead hazards; and comply with work practice requirements intended to reduce lead-based paint exposure.
Under the terms of the settlements, the companies agreed to pay civil penalties and to certify that they are complying with the Renovation, Repair and Painting certification requirements prior to offering and performing renovations, as required by the RRP Rule. Companies whose enforcement cases were concluded this year in EPA’s Region 10 include:
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, is an effort to raise awareness of the many ways parents, caregivers and communities can reduce children’s exposure to lead and prevent its harmful health effects. EPA partners with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness about lead exposure and lead poisoning by providing resources for the public to use to encourage preventive actions.
This year, EPA is offering the following webinars during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation:
Learn more about EPA’s lead poisoning prevention programs and resources.