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News Releases from Region 08

Denver contractors cited for not following lead-safe requirements on home renovation projects

EPA initiative in NE Denver resolves alleged violations of EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule

Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)

(Denver, Colo.--June 28, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached agreements with two Denver-area contractors, KSK Builders LLC and HomeWrights LLC, resolving alleged violations of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The RRP Rule protects the public from toxic lead hazards created by renovation activities involving lead-based paint and requires the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities. Contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must test for lead in paint, or presume lead is present, and apply applicable lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk of toxic lead exposure.

“Protecting children’s health is a central part of EPA’s mission,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA’s regional enforcement program. “EPA is taking a close look at neighborhoods where lead-based paint is a concern by providing residents with information about potential health impacts and making sure contractors are following requirements that reduce exposure in homes.”  

According to the first settlement, KSK Builders LLC agreed to pay a $2,000 penalty to settle allegations that the firm conducted exterior renovations on a pre-1978 home in Denver without being an EPA RRP-certified firm and without establishing the required records of compliance with the RRP Rule. The second settlement alleges HomeWrights, LLC conducted a renovation, including replacement of windows, on a pre-1978 home in Denver without being an EPA RRP-certified firm, without assigning a properly trained certified renovator, and without establishing the required records of compliance with the rule. The firm has agreed to pay a $9,400 penalty to resolve the alleged violations and has since become a RRP-certified firm.

The settlements announced today are part of an ongoing initiative to protect northeast Denver communities from toxic lead paint hazards during home renovations.  Most homes in these neighborhoods were built before lead was banned from use in paint products in 1978 and there is a high potential these homes may contain lead paint. The EPA initiative is focused on increasing awareness of the RRP requirements among both contractors and residents, as well as creating a strong deterrent for violators of the RRP Rule.

EPA has conducted outreach activities and inspected dozens of job sites in the Five Points, Cole, Clayton, Whittier, Skyland and Park Hill neighborhoods since the launch of the initiative in 2015.  The agency will continue to assess compliance associated with these inspections and pursue enforcement action when appropriate.

Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can, even at low levels, cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. EPA estimates that lead-based paint is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation.

For more information on the RRP requirements: http://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program

Violations of the lead based paint RRP Rule regulations can be reported to EPA online: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/report-environmental-violations