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Denver contractors cited for not following lead-safe requirements on home renovation projects

EPA enforcement activities throughout Denver resolve alleged violations of EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule

10/24/2019
Contact Information: 
Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (mcclain-vanderpool.lisa@epa.gov)
303-312-6077

DENVER -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a summary of enforcement actions to Denver-area contractors completed over the last year to address noncompliance with the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The RRP Rule protects the public from toxic lead hazards created by renovation activities involving lead-based paint and requires the certification of individuals and firms 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 toxic lead exposure.

This past year, EPA reached agreements with five Denver-area contractors to settle violations of the RRP Rule: Metro Construction, Inc., Colorado Western Construction, Pappas Painting & Repair, Inc., Kelly Custom Painting LLC, and Coggeshall Construction, Inc. These cases resulted in more than $17,000 in penalties. Violations included failure to obtain EPA lead-safe firm certification, failure to maintain records documenting compliance, and failure to employ lead-safe work practices when conducting renovations on pre-1978 homes. In cases where violations resulted in contamination at a jobsite, EPA staff worked with contractors, and state and local environmental agencies, to facilitate cleanup measures to protect the public from lead exposure.

“Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead, and the disturbance of lead-based paint in older homes and buildings is one of the most common exposure pathways,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA’s regional enforcement program. “EPA is taking a close look at neighborhoods where lead-based paint is present by providing residents with information on managing risks and making sure contractors follow the requirements that reduce exposure in homes.”  

Lead exposure, even at low levels, can cause lifelong impacts, including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. EPA estimates that lead-based paint is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation.

Many Denver-area homes were built before lead was banned from use in paint products in 1978 and there is a high potential these homes contain lead paint. EPA conducts inspections and provides compliance assistance to contractors to ensure renovations of these homes are done in a lead-safe manner in accordance with the RRP Rule. Cases often result from referrals, tips and complaints from consumers, state and local authorities, as well as from random inspections of residential renovations.

In addition to the five cases settled this year, EPA also issued 27 Notices of Noncompliance to contractors and provided educational materials to many others to promote compliance with the RRP Rule in the Denver area. These notices identify specific actions that contractors must take to ensure future compliance. The agency will continue to assess compliance associated with recent inspections and pursue enforcement action when appropriate.

For more information on the RRP Rule and its 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