Thursday, February 02, 2017

Bay Area Federal Lead Paint Police Announce 12 Settlements Against Contractors That Allegedly Failed To Follow Rules Regulating Renovations Of Pre-1978-Built Homes & Elementary Schools

From the Office of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (San Francisco, California - Region 7):
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced 12 enforcement actions taken over the past year against renovation firms that failed to comply with federal lead-based paint rules. The settlements, totaling more than $80,000, involved renovation projects at schools and homes throughout the Bay Area.

    Eleven violations involved firms seeking construction work at San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools without obtaining EPA certification to perform renovations involving lead-based paint. The settlements, totaling $42,000, were filed between March and October 2016. The school district now requires companies to be EPA-certified to bid on any similar future school projects.
    This month, EPA also reached a $38,990 settlement with Best Value Home Improvements, an Oakland-based general contractor. An EPA inspection found that, in working on four residential properties in Alameda, Millbrae, Oakland, and Piedmont between 2013 and 2014, the contractor failed to:
  • Become certified by EPA to perform residential work.
  • Keep complete records documenting whether the work followed lead-safe practices.
  • Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips. When companies fail to follow lead-safe practices, the resulting lead dust and chips can contaminate surrounding surfaces. Exposure to such contamination through hand-to-mouth contact or breathing can result in lead poisoning for children, families and construction workers.

    Though harmful at any age, lead exposure is most dangerous to children. Children’s growing bodies absorb more lead, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects. Lead exposure can cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ.

    The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule was created to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities, such as schools, that were built before 1978. The rule requires that individuals performing renovations are properly trained and certified, provide lead hazard information, and follow specific lead-safe work practices during renovations.

    Contractors that are certified under the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule are encouraged to display EPA's "Lead-Safe" logo on worker's uniforms, signs, and websites. Consumers can protect themselves by looking for the logo before hiring a home contractor, and by being aware of whether a renovator is following lead-safe work practices when working on their property.

    Learn about lead-based paint requirements and hazards.

    Find a certified contractor in your area.

    Notify EPA about lead-based paint rule violations in California.
For more, including the list of the other eleven companies bagged by the San Francisco office of the lead paint police, see U.S. EPA protects Bay Area residents from hazardous lead paint.