Posts Tagged ‘old houses and lead paint’

EPA Fines Yet *Another* Company $40,000 For Failing to Hand Out Lead-paint Brochure (again).

April 5th, 2011 Sears Homes 2 comments

An EPA press release (3/31/2011) proclaims that they’ve successfully put a hurting on yet another small business, and this one’s in the Midwest.

They’ve inflicted a $40,000+ fine on a Kansas-based construction company for the unspeakably horrific crime of…

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

Good for the EPA. We’ve got way too many small businesses in the Midwest. We don’t need any more employers out in “The Rust Belt” anyway. Those entrepreneurial types who put their own venture capital into businesses and create new jobs need to be closed down and they deserve to suffer heavy penalties, and the EPA is just the agency to do it.

With a few more successes like this, the EPA will soon be completely triumphant 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.

This one is especially interesting, because the EPA forced the contractor to replace 73 windows at “three group home facilities operated by a non-profit organization.”

Gosh, looks like the EPA found a way to get some free windows for their favorite charity!

Meanwhile, BP hasn’t paid a penny for destroying the Gulf of Mexico. Why beat up one big corporation when there are so many small business that can be eviscerated so easily?


(Kansas City, Kan., March 31, 2011) - Window World of St. Louis, Inc., has agreed to pay a $19,529 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify owners and occupants of at least 20 St. Louis area residential properties built before 1978 of lead-based paint risks prior to performing renovation work at those locations.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the window replacement company, located in Maryland Heights, Mo., was legally required to provide owners and residents of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before starting renovations at the properties.

Provision of the lead hazard information pamphlet to property owners and occupants is one requirement of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which Congress passed in 1992 as an amendment of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The regulation is intended to protect owners and occupants of residential properties, child care facilities and schools built before 1978 from health risks associated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in the United States in 1978. Most homes built before 1978 contain some amount of lead-based paint, and subsequent renovation activity of such properties can cause occupants to be exposed to dust, chips and debris that contain lead.

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires renovators of such properties to obtain certified training, follow safe work practices, and take specific steps to make owners and occupants aware of health risks associated with lead exposure before renovation work occurs.

As part of its settlement with EPA, and in addition to paying the $19,529 civil penalty, Window World of St. Louis has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project, through which it will spend an estimated $20,048 to replace a total of 73 old windows contaminated with lead paint at three group home facilities operated by the non-profit social services organization Youth in Need. Those facilities are located at 1420 N. 3rd Street, 516 Jefferson Street, and 529 Jefferson Street, in St. Charles, Mo.

Advance copy of a new promotional campaign by the EPA

Advance copy of a new promotional campaign by the EPA

To read another article about the EPA’s insanity, click here.

To go back to reading happy, happy articles about Sears Homes, 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:

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