WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Sixteen firms were fined by the Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, the EPA announced Wednesday.
The EPA says it has made this enforcement program a priority to protect children and others from exposure and potential lead poisoning by ensuring renovators follow all lead rules.
The 16 enforcement actions include 13 administrative settlements and three filed administrative complaints. The EPA also assessed civil penalties.
According to the EPA, the assessed civil penalties total is $53,792. The three administrative complaints will total the statutory maximum of $37,500 per violation.
The EPA must evaluate whether the firm is able to pay a penalty and remain in business.
In addition to the settlements, the each company is required to certify that it is now in compliance with the RRP rule.
Contractors who work on establishments and child-occupied facilities pre-1978 are required by the RRP rule to be trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. This ensures common renovations and repairs are done so to minimize lead dust during sanding, cutting, and replacing windows.
Exposure to lead can affect health adversely, including behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, seizures and possibly death, according to the EPA.
The RRP rule was finalized by the EPA in 2008 and was put into effect on April 22, 2010.
"These settlements serve as an important reminder of the importance of using lead-safe practices to protect the health of our children and prevent lead poisoning," assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Cynthia Giles said.