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Thread: EPA fines

  1. #1
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    Default EPA fines

    The blurb below was in my inbox yesterday, what really caught my eye was the one isolated sentence near the bottom about penalty's being adjusted based on the perps ability to pay...I guess it means we should all just be cash contractors with no assetts in our name.

    -Norm

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    EPA Fines Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
    Release Date: 04/05/2012
    Contact Information: Stacy Kika, Kika.stacy@epa.gov, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and other lead rules. The RRP rule requires the use of lead-safe work practices to ensure that common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition, which can create hazardous lead dust, are conducted properly by trained and certified contractors or individuals. EPA finalized the RRP rule in 2008 and the rule took effect on April 22, 2010.

    “Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems and affects our most vulnerable population, our children,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By taking action to enforce lead rules we are protecting people’s health and ensuring that businesses that follow the rules have a level playing field.”

    On March 21, 2012, Colin Wentworth, a rental property owner who was responsible for building operation and maintenance, agreed to pay $10,000 to resolve violations of the RRP rule. The complaint alleged that Mr. Wentworth’s workers violated the rule by improperly using power equipment to remove paint from the exterior surface of an 1850’s apartment building he owns in Rockland, Maine. The complaint also alleged that the workers had not received any training under the rule and that Mr. Wentworth had failed to apply for firm certification with the EPA. Because the lead dust had not been properly contained, residents were potentially exposed and the dust could have also contaminated the ground surrounding the apartment building. Two of the four units in the building were rented to recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 vouchers and there were at least four children under the age of 18, including one under the age of six, living in the units. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also responded to the alleged violations.

    On March 20, 2012, Valiant Home Remodelers, a New Jersey window and siding company, agreed to pay $1,500 to resolve violations from failing to follow the RRP rule during a window and siding replacement project at a home in Edison, N.J. Valiant Home Remodelers failed to contain renovation dust, contain waste, and train workers on lead-safe work practices.

    On February 21, 2012, Johnson Sash and Door, a home repair company located in Omaha, Neb., agreed to pay a $5,558 penalty for failing to provide the owners or occupants of housing built prior to 1978 with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet or to obtain a written acknowledgement prior to commencement of renovation activities at five homes. The complaint also alleged that Johnson failed to obtain initial certification prior to performing renovations at these residences.

    As required by the law, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly.

    These recent actions are part of EPA’s effort to ensure that contractors and individuals follow the RRP requirements and other lead rules to protect people’s health from exposure to lead. Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.

    More on the settlement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/...nfstatreq.html

    More about lead: http://www.epa.gov/lead
    Doreen Cantor Paster
    Associate Chief, Lead, Heavy Metals, & Inorganics Branch
    Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (7404T)
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20460
    Phone: 202-566-0486

  2. #2
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    I got it too.
    It makes me angry, new work has dried up again of late and these E-mails are like harassment. My state has still never informed me of the RRP yet and had I not come to forums or read magazines I would have never known about it.
    I do know it now, its water under the bridge but the daily bogus spam is ridiculous and assures me I will miss something important along the way. They are breaking the motivation of legitimate people to stay in business and is now set up to harm us more than those uniformed. How could they comply if they never have been legally informed? Why are my clients allowed to do anything they want but I need to put on a show at high cost?

    I have been remodeling homes since I was a teen with my Dad and his relatives are in their 90's whom lived with lead paint all thier life, why are we not messed up from it? Just curious since I need to scare my clients into hiring a trained pro to do things they do all the time.
    Who is the EPA any way? We dont elect them into these jobs?
    Tom

  3. #3
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Top Notch View Post
    Why ... [do] I need to put on a show at high cost?
    I have been remodeling homes since I was a teen with my Dad and his relatives are in their 90's whom lived with lead paint all thier life, why are we not messed up from it?
    It really isn't high cost if you understand what you need to do and how to do it reasonably efficiently. It really just means cleaning up much better than you did before.

    Does your Dad have high blood pressure? Memory problems? The effects can be relatively subtle for most people, but much more significant for kids who tend to play in the lead dust and don't wash there hands much, unlike adults who don't play on the floor and are inclined to wash their hands frequently.

    The correlation between lead expose and crime is apparently significant:

    http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35338...Manuscript.pdf

    It seems to be worth it to minimize lead exposure, particularly for infants and kids.
    HERS Rater • BPI Building Analyst • BPI Envelope Professional
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    I'm getting these crap emails too, and it's disturbing.
    I'm turning down jobs because I don't want to deal with RRP bullchit.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Goodie, more work for those of us who will.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Top Notch View Post
    I got it too.
    My state has still never informed me of the RRP yet and had I not come to forums or read magazines I would have never known about it.
    NJ has been subsidizing the cost of RRP training in an effort to increase compliance. I took a $300 course for something like $50.

    I just did the RRP end of a project for a local contractor who couldn't register for a course in time for the job. The courses were filled up for months.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    So your saying NJ informed you or you just benefited from training they provided 2 years after the law was passed.

    Hey beachboy have a good time remember after you have suited up and contained the demolition area, you have bag your debris. With something like paster you will find the plastic bags tear real easy and get heavy real easy. Spraying water over electrical outlets is dangerous too. You will find out quickley there is no room to turn around in the room with 50 bags but thats how it is.
    Wait though your not done, now that you need room to continue so you can take a few cartons of wipes and wipe each crease in each bag as you place it outside the containment area. Now unsuit and head to the dumpster where the bag instantly breaks and the whole thing was for nothing.
    Now a 30 min demo clean up became an 8hr event which you have to prevent dust equal to a pack of sugar from contaminating the area. All while a kid or dog is scratching a window in another room. Or the HO is doing const.project in the garage that your not being paid for.

    Wait Im being foolish, sorry your concern was the demoliton in day cares that we always see happening during kindergarten class.
    Tom

  8. #8
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    I just dont want to hear about guys who are trying to comply being fined when the whole thing is over the top and unrealistic.
    Tom

  9. #9
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Top Notch View Post
    Hey beachboy have a good time remember after you have suited up and contained the demolition area, you have bag your debris. With something like paster you will find the plastic bags tear real easy and get heavy real easy. Spraying water over electrical outlets is dangerous too. You will find out quickley there is no room to turn around in the room with 50 bags but thats how it is.
    Wait though your not done, now that you need room to continue so you can take a few cartons of wipes and wipe each crease in each bag as you place it outside the containment area. Now unsuit and head to the dumpster where the bag instantly breaks and the whole thing was for nothing.
    Now a 30 min demo clean up became an 8hr event which you have to prevent dust equal to a pack of sugar from contaminating the area. All while a kid or dog is scratching a window in another room. Or the HO is doing const.project in the garage that your not being paid for.
    You know, you're right. You shouldn't be doing RRP. You don't have a clue how to do it effectively or efficiently.
    HERS Rater • BPI Building Analyst • BPI Envelope Professional
    Certified Green Building Professional • Certified Existing Home Advisor
    General Building Contractor • Asbestos Certification • Hazardous Substance Removal Certification • EPA Approved Lead-Safe Contractor • Locksmith
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Greg:

    How does this affect me? I use a lot of lead in new homes, I've used New England Lead Burning for 40 years. I'm now thinking of using lead instead of copper in many areas because Fish & Game won't let us run copper tainted water into streams (kills the damn fish they say), and I'm dumping all surface water into a stream. If you come into this home to do RRP how do you handle lead flashing, shower pans, sill pans, etc.? If it's so bad why are we allowed to still build with it? Look at hospitals and even medical dental buildings with lead-lined sheetrock for radiation shielding, I've even used lead lined sheetrock in homes for sound-proofing.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  11. #11
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBoy View Post

    Goodie, more work for those of us who will.
    You can have them. Every single one. BTW, how many RRP projects have you completed?

    My clients? They've completed two. By the book. Complete with documentation.
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    It is unfortunate those of you who are against the RRP law are so willing to dismiss the intent of the rule along with the significant flaws in the program.

    Lead poisoning is a serious matter, if you or someone you know, especially children, have been exposed your attitude would most certainly change.

    The weakest of all arguments against is the that's the way we have always done it one.
    There are several things we have learned are hazardous including asbestos, smoking and running with scissors.

    Agreed the EPA is several degrees separated form the jobsite however the effects of childhood and adult lead poisoning is real and present.

    So let me suggest that if you are so opposed to the RRP program Just don't do it!.

    Or take some of the energy you direct to objecting and apply it to working it in your jobs.

    And I do see the problems of the jobsite and not just what is in the RRP Power Point.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    Greg:

    How does this affect me? I use a lot of lead in new homes,
    Not at all Dick.
    There are several exceptions to the program:
    Less than 6 sf/room
    Less than20 sf per side
    Emergencies
    Homeowners
    Hummer drivers
    Old coots.

    So that makes you exempt in several ways

  14. #14
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    I'm not against RRP. I'm against enforcing and penalizing only one party in the transaction - the contractor. So if a client is willing and able to follow the rules when performing all necessary demo I will gladly oblige them.
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: EPA fines

    So if you are riding in a car and the driver is speeding should everyone get a ticket?

    Or only the driver?

    OK, OK, you m.m.m.m.m.may have a point there.

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