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News Releases from Region 09

U. S. EPA settlement helps protect San Diego residents from lead paint health hazards

One of six lead paint settlements in California and Arizona in past year

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $41,633 settlement with Renovation Realty, based in San Diego, Calif., for violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.

“Lead paint is one of the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. EPA’s diligent enforcement of federal lead paint laws is not only necessary to protect communities across the country, but also ensures those who break the law are held accountable,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

An EPA inspection found that, between 2014 and 2015, Renovation Realty performed renovation work at six homes in San Diego and Santee without being EPA-certified to perform work in pre-1978 housing where lead-based paint is assumed to be present. The company also failed to keep records indicating compliance with lead-safe work practices and did not ensure a certified renovator was involved as required.

Over the last year (January 2017-January 2018), EPA has taken action against six companies in Arizona and California for allegedly violating regulations requiring them to protect the public from exposure to lead. The companies paid a combined $287,000 in penalties.

In addition to Renovation Realty, EPA settled with the following companies for violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule:

  • Best Value Home Improvements (Oakland, Calif.) - $38,990 
  • Holland and Harley Construction (Berkeley, Calif.) - $14,210
  • K Kittle LLC, known as Rebath and 5 Day Kitchens (Phoenix, Ariz.) - $19,810
  • Simply Building (Daly City, Calif.) - $24,105

In addition to the penalties, each company made corrections to their operations, including becoming EPA-certified, for those not already certified. 

EPA also settled with Haven Homes (El Segundo, Calif.) for $148,618 for violations of the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. In addition to the penalty, Haven Homes corrected company practices to become compliant with the notification and disclosure rule.

These EPA enforcement actions reinforce EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s commitment to prioritize action to address childhood lead exposure. Though harmful at any age, lead exposure is most dangerous to children. Lead exposure can cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint. 

The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule was created to protect the public from lead paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities, such as schools, that were built before 1978. The rule requires that individuals performing renovations are properly trained and certified and follow lead-safe work practices.

The Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule requires landlords, property managers, real estate agents, and others who sell or rent houses built before 1978, to provide known information on lead paint and lead paint hazards to buyers or tenants.

Learn about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and program:  https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program

Learn about certification and training requirements for renovation firms: https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-contractors

Learn about the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule: https://www.epa.gov/lead/real-estate-disclosure

Report a lead paint violation: https://www.epa.gov/lead/pacific-southwest-lead-based-paint-tips-complaints

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) at www.epa.gov/pacific-southwest-media-center. Connect with us on Facebook (@EPAregion9) and Twitter (@EPAregion9).