News Releases from Region 08
Denver-area contractor cited for failing to follow lead-safe requirements on home renovation project
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a settlement with Lakewood, Colorado-based Regal Construction, Inc. as part of an ongoing initiative to protect Denver-area communities from toxic lead paint hazards by securing compliance with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule). This rule protects the public from toxic hazards created by home renovation activities involving lead-based paint and requires the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities. Contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must test for lead in paint, or presume lead is present, and apply applicable lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk of exposure.
Under the settlement, Regal Construction, Inc. has agreed to take steps to become lead-safe certified to resolve allegations that the firm performed renovations on a pre-1978 home in Denver without being certified under the RRP rule and without performing required safe work practices. Safe practices required by the rule are intended to prevent or minimize the release of lead-contaminated dust and debris. The firm has also agreed to pay a penalty of $12,438.
“Protecting public health is at the core of EPA’s mission,” said Kim Opekar, director of EPA’s regional enforcement program. “EPA is working to make sure that families are aware of potential health impacts associated with lead paint in older homes and that contractors are following requirements that reduce exposure.”
Many homes in the Denver area were built before lead was banned from use in paint products in 1978 and many contain toxic lead paint. When lead paint is disturbed during home renovations proper work practices are needed to prevent exposure to home owners, workers, and the public. Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can, even at low levels, cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems.
Despite its ban from the U.S. in 1978, EPA estimates that lead-based paint is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation. EPA is focused on increasing awareness of the requirements among both contractors and residents, as well as creating a strong deterrent for violators of the RRP Rule.
For more information on lead or the RRP requirements: http://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program
Violations of the lead based paint RRP Rule regulations can be reported to EPA online: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/report-environmental-violations