Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, settled with the EPA for alleged Lead Paint Violations.

Their company, Magnolia Homes, agreed to settle with the EPA by paying a fine of $40,000 and performing $160,000 in lead-abatement projects in homes or child-occupied facilities with an outside independent abatement firm.

The EPA was asking for lead paint fines of $795,080 and accusing the company of 187 violations in 33 vacant home renovation projects completed prior to December 2015. Alleged violations included:

  • Lack of Firm Certification,
  • Failure to deliver the Renovate Right to the homeowner prior to beginning work,
  • Failure to assign a Certified Renovator to the job,
  • Failure to Contain the Work Area,
  • Failure to Contain Waste, and
  • Failure to Document Lead-Safe Work Practices

According to the EPA, “shortly after being contacted by the EPA three years ago, Magnolia Homes took immediate steps to bring its activities into compliance.”

Magnolia Homes also implemented a compliance program including a “renovation record-keeping checklist for use by their staff and subcontractors.”

Despite their efforts to cooperate with the EPA, fines were demanded.

How to Protect Yourself

Could your company withstand this type of scrutiny? Afford the legal bills? Ask yourself:

  • How is your documentation?
  • Are your workers trained?
  • Are your subcontractors Certified?
  • Is your Firm Certification current?
  • Do you have your records for the last 3 years?

You can access the pre-renovation notification, all of the paperwork to document your jobs and the links to register your company as a Certified Firm at https://www.leadclasses.com/forms-downloads/

This is your insurance and best of all, it’s 100% free.

If you need a class for any of your team you can find your closest class at www.LeadClasses.com

Steve Hoff
June 8, 2018

How to deal with Lead Based Paint during Emergency Renovations and Repairs

  • Do you have a plan for dealing with emergency renovations that may disturb Lead Paint?
  • What about when the EPA sends teams of enforcement officers after there is a natural disaster?
  • Could you be subject to the $37,500 EPA RRP Lead Paint Fines just for helping out your neighbors?

The following brief video will give you the exact details of how to deal with the EPA’s RRP Lead Based Paint rules in a hurricane, natural disaster or any emergency renovations and repairs.

Emergency Lead-Based Paint Renovation Rules

The EPA defines an emergency as the following:

Any “situation necessitating immediate action to address safety, health hazards or threats of significant damage to equipment and/or property.”

As contractors, relief workers or anyone participating in the cleaning up it relieves us of the responsibility to:

  • Provide the Renovate Right Brochure prior to doing any work,
  • Place Signs
  • Use Containment

However, we must follow the clean-up protocol and cleaning verification and all of the recordkeeping requirements still apply.

What We Must Do to Minimize Our Risk

Click Here for copies of all of the Recordkeeping Paperwork you received in your class. Use them to document that your work was an emergency and the specific things that you were not able to do including;

  • Containment,
  • Having a Certified Renovator on the job site,
  • Posting signs,
  • Having a HEPA Vac on-site,
  • Containing the waste, etc.

Document exactly what steps you did do to protect the residents or occupants:

Make sure that you give the client copies of your Test Kit Form and Post Job Report no more than 30 days after completion or with the final invoice.

Finally, keep a copy of all of your documentation for a minimum of three years and you’ll be able to withstand any EPA enforcement actions today and for years to come.

 

Steve Hoff
August 29, 2017

On September 28th, Sears Home Improvement reached a settlement for $400,000 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over failure to follow the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rules (RRP Rules) regarding lead-safe work practices in homes built before 1978.

From 2013 to 2015 the EPA identified over 96 renovations where Sears Home Improvement was unable to provide documentation of the Lead Safe Work Practices followed or provide proof that the contractors assigned to each job had successfully received RRP Lead Paint Certification as required by the EPA.

Protect yourself, your family, and your business by finding a class near you today.

Select Your Closest Class & Get Certified in Just 1 Day – 100% Guaranteed

 

Click here to read the full statement by the EPA.

Steve Hoff
October 3, 2016

On October 8, 2014 the EPA sent a memo to all Lead Paint Renovation, Repair & Painting trainers extending the 5 year certification for some Certified Renovators.

EPA Certified Renovator certification is good for 5 years from the date the course was completed, but…

If you were certified Before April 22, 2010, your Certificate is extended to July 1, 2015.

This means that if your Lead RRP Certificate expires prior to April 22, 2015 you can take the 4 hour Refresher Re-Certification Training Class any time before July 1, 2015 to renew your certification.

However, if your certificate expires after April 22, 2015 you must take the Refresher Class before the expiration date. If your certificate expires, then you must take the 8 hour Initial RRP Certification Class.

To further complicate things, the State of Oregon has refused to extend the certificates and still is requiring Certified Renovators to take the Refresher Training before their certificate expiration date.

Steve Hoff
January 29, 2015

In December 2014 the EPA announced 61 enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Based Paint Renovation, Repair & Painting RRP Rules. All violations were involving pre-1978 homes and child occupied facilities. Fines were issued in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Florida, Colorado, California, Idaho and Oregon. Fines ranged from as little as $100 to as much as $184,000. Violations included failure to

  • Educate the property owners and residents using the Renovate Right Brochure
  • Obtain Firm Certification from the EPA or the respective state in the 14 authorized states
  • Assign a Certified Renovator to the job
  • Retain all records for 3 years
  • Contain the work area
  • Contain the waste
  • Cover the floor or ground with impermeable plastic
  • Post warning signs
  • Train all non-certified workers
  • Use a HEPA exhaust on paint removing power tools
  • Perform a Post-Renovation Cleaning Verification
  • Clean properly
  • Produce records upon request
  • Have copies of both Certified Renovator and Certified Firm on the job site
  • Close and cover duct openings
  • Close all doors and windows

Notice that not only record keeping, but also job-site inspections have been performed to determine these violations.

How to make sure you aren’t fined

Never forget the #1 priority – Contain the Dust & Paint Chips.

Remember from your class the 3 Main Principles:

  1. Minimize the Dust You Create
  2. Contain What You Can’t Prevent
  3. Clean-up Everything

If you do these three things, you will do the job safely and ensure compliance with the work practices. But you must also make sure you have your records including:

  1. Proof that you educated the occupants, residents and owners with the Renovate Right Brochure
  2. Your Test Kit Documentation for testing results or presuming the paint contains lead
  3. Your Post-Job Report documenting your notification, work-practices and proper clean-up procedures.
  4. Proof that you have trained all non-certified workers

Clients must be given copies of the Test form and the Post-Job Report no more than 30 days after completion of the job or with your final invoice.

Remember, you can get copies of the paperwork off of our home page at: www.leadclasses.com/forms-downloads

Lastly, you must take the Refresher Training Class BEFORE your current Certificate expires. We are just beginning to put them on the schedule now. If you cannot find your closest city on our home page at www.LeadClasses.com please send us an email at Info@LeadClasses.com and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Steve Hoff
January 13, 2015

New Government Report Reveals EPA Losing Millions on Lead RRP Rules

According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) the EPA has lost $25.3 million on the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Lead Based Paint program between fiscal year 2011-2014. Although collections exceeded costs by $8.9 Million in fiscal year 2010, there is still a total deficit of $16.4 Million.

The shortfall is primarily attributed to a dramatic over-estimation of Certified Firm Applications and payment of those fees ($300 for 5 years). The following chart shows EPA estimates versus actual companies obtaining the Certification

Year 1

Year 2

Total

EPA Estimated Certified Firms

212,000

72,000

284,000

Actual Certifications

87,000

13,000

100,000

Percentage Overestimated

59%

82%

65%

Source: OIG analysis of EPA data.

In order to cover the shortfall, the OIG is going to require the EPA to update the fee rules to cover all cost of operating and administering the RRP program. In addition, they will be required to conduct ongoing reviews to ensure costs are recouped.

What does this mean to contractors, maintenance firms and property management companies?

Clearly these rules are not going away. With an expansion into commercial and public buildings on the horizon, it’s difficult to imagine the EPA being able to successfully reduce expenses to meet the shortfall. More likely is an increase in fees and costs on all levels of the program.

This means that your marketing must set you apart from your competition. It must be driving a torrent of ready-to-buy, price-is-no-object customers to you who crave the quality and service that only you can deliver.

To learn how to attract the absolute best, highest paying clients who refer you and your company over and over again come to one of our next Lead Classes

Steve Hoff
May 9, 2013