News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA settles with two Bay Area firms over lead-based paint hazards
SAN FRANCISCO—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled with two Bay Area construction firms for violations of federal laws that protect workers and residents from lead paint exposure. Seismic Retrofitters, Inc., located in San Francisco and All Seasons Construction, located in Oakland, will pay about $27,000 and $8,500 in penalties, respectively.
“Reducing childhood lead exposure and its health impacts is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We will continue to diligently enforce our requirements to ensure children, workers, and residents are properly informed and protected.”
The Toxic Substances Control Act’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule and Pre-Renovation Education rule require contractors working in housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978 to follow practices that minimize lead exposure and inform residents how to protect themselves from lead exposure. Local governments in California increasingly require residential seismic retrofit work to prevent harm from earthquakes. EPA inspects seismic retrofit companies that work in older apartment buildings and homes to ensure they comply with lead-based paint requirements.
EPA found both foundation repair companies failed to comply with occupant notification requirements in advance of the renovations and lacked required lead paint renovation certifications. EPA’s investigations also found both Seismic Retrofitters and All Seasons did not retain proper records such as those ensuring that a certified renovator performed on-the job training for workers and performed post-renovation cleaning verification.
Lead exposure can cause a range of negative health impacts and is particularly dangerous for young children, because their nervous systems are still developing. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint; however, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.
Both the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and the Pre-Renovation Education Rule protect the public (especially children under the age of 6) from lead-based paint hazards associated with repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. The RRP rule requires individuals who perform renovations to be properly trained and certified and follow lead-safe work practices.
Learn about the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and program: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program
Learn about certification and training requirements for renovation firms: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-contractors
Report a lead paint violation: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/lead/pacific-southwest-lead-based-paint-tips-complaints