EPA Announces Settlement with Maine-based TV Show to Resolve Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule Violations, Raise Awareness of Lead-Safe Work Practices
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has reached a settlement with Kennebec Property Services, LLC of Manchester, Maine, resolving alleged violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule and requiring Kennebec to provide information about compliance with lead safety rules on its cable TV program “Maine Cabin Masters” which is broadcast on the Warner Bros. Discovery Network.
“Lead exposure for children is extremely dangerous and is entirely preventable. Complying with federal lead paint laws is essential to protect children across the country and is a top priority for EPA,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Television shows that demonstrate home remodeling have a special responsibility to model lead-safe work practices and help their viewers understand common-sense measures to protect themselves and their children from lead hazards.”
Lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement in children. While lead is dangerous to all children, not all children are equally exposed to lead, nor do they suffer the same consequences of exposure. The harmful impacts of lead disproportionately impact environmentally overburdened, low-income families and their communities.
In a Consent Agreement and Final Order, EPA alleged that Kennebec performed five renovations in 2020 at residential properties constructed prior to 1978 without complying with applicable RRP Rule requirements. Specifically, EPA alleged that Kennebec failed to: obtain recertification before beginning renovations, assign a certified renovator to each renovation, provide the owner of each unit with the EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, and maintain records showing their compliance with RRP measures.
Since being contacted by EPA, the company has obtained RRP firm certification, certified it is complying with the RRP Rule and agreed to comply with the RRP Rule in all future renovation activities. Kennebec has paid a $16,500 penalty.
Further, under the settlement Kennebec has agreed to help raise awareness about the EPA Lead RRP program by providing information about compliance with the RRP Rule in at least three episodes of their upcoming season of Maine Cabin Masters and on the program’s web site, and by producing an episode of their podcast “From the Wood Shed” that focusses on EPA lead safety measures.
EPA has designated the reduction of childhood lead exposures as a high priority. The action announced today support the agency’s continuing commitment to implement the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.
EPA has settled several other RRP enforcement cases with programs that air on HGTV / Discovery, the same network that airs Maine Cabin Masters, including Two Chicks and a Hammer, Magnolia Homes, Texas Flip N Move, and Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions.
More information about EPA’s Lead RRP Rule.