Lenexa, Kan - EPA Region 7 conducted a Record Keeping Inspection of M&L Construction, a Sedalia, Mo., home remodeling company specializing in fire and water restoration, in August 2012, which revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. M&L Construction has agreed to pay a $9,548 civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated the RRP Rule.
According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kan., the inspection revealed that M&L Construction failed to become a certified firm; failed to hand out the Renovate Right pamphlet to a homeowner; failed to retain records documenting lead-safe work practices; and failed to assign a certified renovator to projects.
M&L Construction was legally required to use proper lead-safe work practices during renovations and provide owners and occupants of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, known as the Renovate Right pamphlet, before starting renovations at the properties.
The Renovate Right pamphlet helps homeowners and tenants understand the risks of lead-based paint, and how best to minimize these risks to protect themselves and their families. M&L Construction did not provide this pamphlet, assign a certified renovator to a renovation, or maintain lead-safe work practice records.
EPA became involved in this case as a result of information received from a tip and complaint.
The RRP Rule requires that contractors that 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 the rule took effect on April 22, 2010.
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 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 Renovation, Repair and Painting rules apply.
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 living in them 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 CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.