EPA Settles With SoCal Firms Over Lead-Based Paint Hazards

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has reached settlement agreements with four Southland companies over hazards related to lead-based paint.

“Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These settlements protect Southern California communities by ensuring that lead paint rules and regulations are followed.”

EPA settled with the following companies for violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act:

-- Pacific Home Remodeling Inc., which agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty for performing renovation work without EPA certification and without ensuring that the individuals doing the work were certified. The certification requirements protect and train workers to implement practices to protect residents from possible exposure to lead-based paint. The Los Angeles company also did not contain waste from renovation activities and 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, according to the EPA.

-- Claremont-based Hartman Baldwin Inc., which agreed to pay a $12,897 civil penalty for failing to renew its EPA certification to do renovation work between 2015 and 2019. Hartman Baldwin also failed to post warning signs indicating the potential dangers present and did not retain proper records, according to the EPA.

-- Create RE Inc., which agreed to pay a $5,135 civil penalty. The El Segundo company performed renovation work without EPA certification, did not clean the work area of dust, debris and residue, and lacked the proper records demonstrating compliance with lead-safe work practices, according to the EPA.

-- Pomona-based Ameko APS Inc., which agreed to pay a $9,000 penalty for performing renovation work without EPA certification and failing to retain proper records. In addition, Ameko failed to provide clients with a brochure about lead-safe work practices, the EPA reported.

In addition to the penalties, each company has made corrections to its operations, including becoming EPA-certified if not already certified.

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.

Photo: Getty Images

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