Recent enforcement action in St Louis costs window contractor $39,577.00!! Penalty of $19,529 plus replacement of old windows with lead for a whopping $20,048.00. The contractor was caught not giving out a simple Renovate Right Brochure to homeowners.
As we predicted last fall and in several articles the EPA is using their "Secret Weapon" to begin enforcement of the EPA RRP Lead Law. The "Secret Weapon" is the documentation requirement. We wrote that the EPA doesn't even have to leave their office to enforce. All they have to do is make a phone call to your office and ask to see your documentation going back to 4/22/2010. No documentation and you can be fined. This fine on top of the one in Connecticut (see related post) last month for $30,700 is the beginning of the promised EPA enforcement effort.
Here is a copy of the press release from the EPA.
Environmental News FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Kansas City, Kan., March 31, 2011) – Window World of St. Louis, Inc., has agreed to pay a $19,529 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify owners and occupants of at least 20 St. Louis area residential properties built before 1978 of lead-based paint risks prior to performing renovation work at those locations.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the window replacement company, located in Maryland Heights, Mo., was legally required to provide owners and residents of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before starting renovations at the properties.
Provision of the lead hazard information pamphlet to property owners and occupants is one requirement of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which Congress passed in 1992 as an amendment of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The regulation is intended to protect owners and occupants of residential properties, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 from health risks associated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in the United States in 1978. Most homes built before 1978 contain some amount of lead-based paint, and subsequent renovation activity of such properties can cause occupants to be exposed to dust, chips and debris that contain lead.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires renovators of such properties to obtain certified training, follow safe work practices, and take specific steps to make owners and occupants aware of health risks associated with lead exposure before renovation work occurs.
As part of its settlement with EPA, and in addition to paying the $19,529 civil penalty, Window World of St. Louis has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project, through which it will spend an estimated $20,048 to replace a total of 73 old windows contaminated with lead paint at three group home facilities operated by the non-profit social services organization Youth in Need. Those facilities are located at 1420 N. 3rd Street, 516 Jefferson Street, and 529 Jefferson Street, in St. Charles, Mo.