An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases

News Releases from Region 02

EPA Takes Action to Protect Kids from Lead Exposure in New York and New Jersey

10/31/2018
Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (covington.tayler@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3662

(New York, N.Y. – October 31, 2018) Shining a light on the serious problem of childhood lead poisoning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week highlighted 140 federal enforcement actions taken this year nationwide, including 11 in New York and New Jersey to ensure that entities like renovation contractors, landlords, property managers, realtors and others comply with rules that protect the public from exposure to lead from lead-based paint. By ensuring compliance with federal lead-based paint requirements, EPA can address a leading source of lead exposure for children across the nation. Exposure to lead dust, chips or debris from lead-based paint can pose serious risks to human health, particularly for young children.

“Children under the age of six are most vulnerable to the preventable consequences of lead-based paint exposure and need to be protected.” said Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. Holding businesses and individuals accountable for violating EPA’s lead paint rules can serve as an effective deterrent to those who may otherwise seek to save money and cut corners, putting public health at risk.”  

One of the highest profile cases in the past year was a settlement with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the nation’s largest public housing authority. In June, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Manhattan lodged a consent decree in federal court to settle alleged wide-spread lead-based paint and housing violations. The proposed Consent Decree, which is subject to public comment and court approval, affects approximately 175,000 apartments and 400,000 residents. The proposed settlement requires the appointment of an independent federal monitor with authority to help ensure NYCHA’s compliance with lead-based paint and other requirements; and a commitment from New York City to provide at least $1.2 billion to address infrastructure issues. At least 19 children associated with NYCHA apartments were diagnosed as having elevated blood-lead levels, and thousands more were put at risk.

In addition to the proposed Consent Decree with NYCHA, EPA’s Region 2 office entered into a total of 10 compliance agreements and issued one complaint to entities operating in New York and New Jersey from October 2017 through September 2018. Neither New York nor New Jersey have been delegated the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule or the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The EPA’s compliance agreements and complaint are:

  • Baxter Construction (NJ) agreed to pay a $95,883 penalty to settle violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, including: performing renovations without proper certification at five properties; failure to keep records of renovation compliance; failure to assign a certified renovator; failure to provide property owners with the EPA-approved Lead Hazard pamphlet; and failure to post lead hazard signs.
  • William C. Rott & Sons (NY) agreed to pay a $95,000 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including: performing renovations without proper certification at nine properties; failure to keep records of renovation compliance; failure to assign a certified renovator; and failure to provide three property owners Renovate Right pamphlet. The company also agreed to implement a comprehensive Compliance Plan tailored to their company that will help them comply with the RRP Rule in future renovations.
  • Bogy Construction, LLC (NJ) agreed to pay a $14,619 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including: failure to keep records of renovation compliance; failure to confine dust and debris to work area; failure to cover the ground with plastic sheeting; failure to post lead hazard signs; and failure to provide the property owner with the Renovate Right pamphlet.
  • De Jesus Stucco & General Construction Corp. (NY) agreed to pay a $6,857 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including: failure to assign a certified renovator; failure to provide the property owner Renovate Right pamphlet; failure to close or cover windows and doors into the work area; and failure to contain waste from renovation activities. The company also agreed to implement a comprehensive Compliance Plan tailored to their company that will help them comply with the RRP Rule in future renovations.
  • Donald Bucciarelli (NJ) agreed to pay a $1,100 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including: performing a renovation without proper certification; failure to assign a certified renovator; failure to provide the occupant with the Renovate Right pamphlet; and failure to keep records of renovation compliance in a rental unit where a child under the age of six resided.
  • Utica Painting Company, Inc. (NY) agreed to pay a $565 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including failure to keep records of renovation compliance and failure to provide property owner with the Renovate Right pamphlet.
  • Camp Rosmarin, Inc. (NY) agreed to pay a $3,000 penalty to settle violations of the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule, including leasing summer residential cottages without providing tenants with: a lead warning statement; a disclosure statement of any knowledge of lead-based paint; a list of any records or reports pertaining to lead-based paint; and an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet.
  • Natelli Bros. (NJ) agreed to pay a $2,400 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including: failure to obtain proper certification; failure to keep records of renovation compliance; failure to post lead hazard signs; failure to assign a certified renovator; and failure to cover the ground with plastic sheeting. The company also agreed to implement a comprehensive Compliance Plan tailored to their company that will help them comply with the RRP Rule in future renovations.
  • CGM Management (NY) agreed to pay a $3,000 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including failure to obtain proper certification, failure to provide property owner with the Renovate Right pamphlet, and failure to keep records of renovation compliance.
  • Michael Definis All Pro Contracting, Inc. (NJ) agreed to pay a $3,000 penalty to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including failure to obtain proper certification, failure to provide property owner with the Renovate Right pamphlet, and failure to keep records of renovation compliance.
  • A&I Developers, Inc. (NY) received a complaint from EPA for violations of the RRP Rule and assessing a penalty of $32,814 to settle violations of the RRP Rule, including; performing renovations without proper certification; failure to keep records of renovation compliance; failure to assign a certified renovator; failure to provide property owners with the EPA-approved Lead Hazard pamphlet; and failure to ensure qualification of all individuals performing the renovation.

Each year, EPA receives hundreds of referrals from local health departments and complaints from the public concerning unsafe work practices during renovations or lead abatements. Property owners and landlord’s failure to provide the required lead disclosure are also referred to EPA. Region 2 conducts on average over 100 inspections of contractors and property managers per year. 

Regulations promulgated under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (LHRA) apply to most housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. TSCA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule and Lead-based Paint Activities Rule and LHRA’s Section 1018 Disclosure Rule require lead-safe work practices and disclosure of information about lead-based paint, among other things. Young children are most susceptible to the effects of lead, with lead-based paint being the biggest risk of exposure. Risks of lead poisoning include neurologic impairments such as behavioral or learning issues, slowed growth and, in rare cases, seizures and death. A blood-lead test is the only way to determine if a child has an elevated blood-lead level. Parents who think their child has been in contact with lead should contact their child's health care provider.

To read highlights of EPA’s efforts across program and regional offices to protect children from lead exposures: https://www.epa.gov/children/protecting-children-lead-exposures

To see a full list of the 2018 lead-based paint enforcement actions: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/epas-lead-based-paint-enforcement-helps-protect-children-and-vulnerable-communities-2018

To see EPA’s Enforcement Alert on lead-based paint: https://wcms.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-alert-lead

Members of the public can help protect our environment by identifying and reporting environmental violations.  Learn more here:  https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/report-environmental-violation-general-information

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page,

http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

18-087                                                                          # # #