From the Office of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency
(Lenexa, Kansas - Region 7):
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 33 entities in the Heartland states of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska were the target of federal enforcement actions over the last year that require entities like renovation contractors, landlords, and property managers to protect communities and public health from exposure to lead.
Lead paint is the main way people are exposed to lead in the U.S., and lead exposure can cause a range of health problems from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children and their developing nervous systems at the greatest risk.
“Renovation companies and their contractors must protect children and other vulnerable people from lead-based paint exposure, especially in minority and low-income communities where housing with lead-based paint is more common,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “These enforcement actions show that EPA will hold companies accountable when they put public health at risk, and they promote a level playing field for businesses that follow the rules.”
From October 2015 through September 2016, EPA entered into 123 settlements nationally for alleged violations of one or more of the three lead-based paint rules: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule; Lead Disclosure Rule; and Lead-based Paint Activities Rule for abatements – and filed six complaints for ongoing actions. Each settlement requires that the alleged violator return to compliance and, in most cases, pay civil penalties. Collectively, the settlements require violators to pay $1,046,655 in penalties.
The three rules are part of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, and apply to housing built before 1978 and child-occupied facilities. Ensuring compliance with all three rules enables EPA to identify and address a variety of lead exposure risks that occur in communities across the nation. These risks can occur when lead paint deteriorates or is disrupted during home renovation and remodeling activities. A blood lead test is the only way to determine if a child has a high lead level. Parents who think their child has been in contact with lead dust should contact their child's health care provider.