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EPA fines small business $30,702 for failing to hand out lead-paint brochure…

March 24th, 2011 Sears Homes 1 comment

An EPA press release (3/23/2011) proclaims that this government agency has successfully taken a 2×4 to the knees of yet another small business.

They’ve inflicted a $30,000+ fine on a Connecticut-based construction company for the unspeakably horrific crime of…get ready for it…

“Failure to hand out a governmental brochure to potential customers.”

Good for the EPA. We’ve got way too many small businesses in this country. Those entrepreneurial types are not to be trusted.

With a few more successes like this, the EPA will soon be wholly successful in fulfilling their stated purpose: The full-scale ruination of America’s independent contractors, and - as a bonus - the unintended consequence of destroying the value of America’s pre-1978 housing stock.

Before long, it’ll cost $836,083 to paint the window sills in your 1917 Bungalow.  Well, that’s an exaggeration, because chances are, you won’t be able to find a contractor willing to do the work - at ANY price.

Milford, Conn. Window and Siding Company to Pay Fine for Lead Notification Violations


Release date: 03/23/2011


A Milford, Conn. company has agreed to pay $30,702 to settle claims by EPA that it failed to provide lead hazard information to home owners or occupants before doing renovations that may have disturbed surfaces coated with lead-based paint.


The settlement resolves claims made by EPA’s New England office that Permanent Siding and Windows, a contractor specializing in spray-on vinyl siding and replacing windows and doors, failed to provide EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet to at least 17 owners or occupants before the company began renovation activities. This pamphlet is required by the federal Pre-Renovation Rule and helps educate home owners or occupants on how to minimize their exposure to hazardous lead dust that is often generated during sanding, cutting, demolition or other renovation activities. The pamphlet also provides resources for more information about lead. The violations in this case took place during renovation work done between January 2006 and March 2009.


Permanent Siding has certified that it is now in compliance with EPA’s Pre-Renovation rule and will submit a report to EPA later this year to demonstrate their continued compliance with this Rule.


“EPA requires companies to provide these pamphlets in order to protect families from health and safety hazards in the home,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Property owners and occupants have a right to know about the dangers posed by renovations that involve lead.”


The federal lead law applies to all pre-1978 housing since, without testing, homes built before 1978 are presumed to contain lead-based paint. The settlement stems from a March 2009 EPA inspection and documentation Permanent Siding provided to the EPA.

An advance copy of a new promotional campaign by the EPA

An advance copy of a new promotional campaign by the EPA

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Below is a picture of a contractor who just learned about the newest EPA regulations.

To read an article about the happy, happy Sears Homes in Hampton Roads, click here.

To read another article about the EPA (blech), click here.

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EPA RRP: Also Known as “The Old House Decimation Act”

March 4th, 2011 Sears Homes No comments

So many average folks have not heard about the EPA’s newest “Old House Decimation Act,” also known as EPA RRP. According to this legislation (which went into effect Spring 2010), if you’re disturbing more than six square feet of wall area (inside or out) in a pre-1978 house, you have to assume the house is heavy laden with lead paint, and you must engage in all sorts of inane and insane abatement procedures, including (but not limited to), tyvek suits, respirators, crime-scene tape and yellow warning signs posted at the corners of the property, warning all your neighbors that your house is now eligible to become a super-fund site. (As this author writes, “The EPA just declared war on contractors, remodelers and homeowners…”)

Households without children (such as my own) had the option of “opting out” but this provision was removed in July 2010. Now, all must comply.  Homeowners doing their own repairs are excepted, but that’s it. There are no other exceptions.

This surely is one of the most egregious pieces of anti-business, anti-homeowner legislation to come down the proverbial pike in a long, long time.  One teeny tiny example of the insanity:  For exterior work, contractors are required to put six-mil plastic out 10 feet from the work site (for the first floor), plus four feet for every additional story. This means that the guy painting your house will set up his 24′ ladder atop six-mil plastic, which is a violation of OSHA laws, but hey, OSHA’s fines are smaller than EPA’s, so you should probably break OSHA laws (given the choice).

Recently, I got a sneak peak of the 2012 revisions to the EPA Lead Law. Everyone should be aware of this new legislation. It’s quoted below.

Effective July 1, 2012, EPA’s new “Biome Protection Act” adds an additional layer of protection to delicate ecosystems in our communities, including any and all surrounding wildlife potentially impacted by the adverse health effects of lead paint.

Any and all “at-risk” wildlife at the work site (including but not limited to insects that fly, crawl, creep and wiggle), must be humanely captured (in EPA approved containment vessels), tagged, and be outfitted with size-appropriate half-mask respirators with a HEPA filter, TYVEK suits and steel-toed shoes and then released.

Upon completion of construction project[s], impacted wildlife must be recaptured and all articles of protective gear removed. To insure the safety of said animals, blood samples must be obtained and then submitted to the EPA for review.

If elevated lead levels are found in surrounding wildlife, contractors will be held liable, and subject to fines not to exceed $12 billion.

Below is a picture of a contractor who just learned of the newest EPA legislation:

And only here, a new promotional campaign from EPA:

To learn about Sears Homes, click here.

To write your representative about this business-killing legislation, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

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