January 10, 2023
LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 10, 2023) – An official for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that two home renovation companies must pay civil penalties to resolve violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.
According to EPA, Superior Restoration and Construction LLC of Overland Park, Kansas, must pay $44,680; and Askins Development Group LLC of St. Louis, Missouri, must pay $42,003.
“Lead is a pernicious contaminant that is particularly harmful to children, and renovation companies that violate lead-based paint regulations must be held accountable,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA will vigorously pursue recalcitrant violators who refuse to resolve noncompliance in a cooperative way.”
In each case, EPA alleged that the renovators failed to comply with regulations intended to reduce the hazards of lead-based paint exposure resulting from renovations. Both companies also failed to respond to multiple attempts by EPA to engage in discussions to resolve the violations, including failure to answer administrative complaints issued by EPA.
In her rulings, EPA Regional Judicial Officer Karina Borromeo found that the companies were liable by default for multiple violations, including failure to obtain EPA renovator certification and failure to assign a certified renovator prior to performing renovations on housing built before 1978. Both companies were also found in violation of multiple work practice requirements. Those violations could result in exposure to hazardous lead dust.
Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead-based paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed from multiple sources and may experience irreversible and lifelong health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed.
Reducing childhood lead exposure and the associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA.
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