Lowe’s, the home improvement giant, is being fined by the EPA and the DOJ with $500,000 federal penalty fee. The sanction followed an investigation due to complaints on Lowe’s contractors being unable to adhere to lead-safety practices and breaking the environmental rules regarding lead paint dust. The investigation was done across different states and violations were found in Lowe’s stores located in Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Vermont.
The half-million dollar fine is the largest fine ever issued for an EPA lead violation, to date. The settlement requires all of Lowe’s to comply with EPA’s RRP Rule for all renovations done on child-occupied facilities including pre-1978 homes, pre-schools and day care centers. According to the EPA, Lowe’s must ensure that its contractors maintain EPA certification, as well as follow lead-safe work practices for all renovations. This includes home improvement projects that will deal with lead-based paint hazards, including window and door installations. The settlement’s conditions apply to all Lowe’s home improvement stores and all of its 1,700 facilities across the United States.
The Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) requires companies and contractors doing renovation, repair, and painting projects that will disturb lead-based paint in structures built before 1978, to be certified by the EPA. Renovators working on pre-1978 homes, childcare facilities and pre-schools must undergo EPA-approved training and follow lead-safe work practices.
The RRP Rule is implemented in connection to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, it ensures that homeowners and those in child-occupied facilities are notified of any lead-based paint hazards before any renovation, repair or repainting work is done. The rule further states that work must only be done by EPA-certified renovators, trained in lead-safe work practices.
High levels of lead in the bloodstream can have very serious mental and physical effects, especially for pregnant women and children under the age of six. If you are concerned about the presence of lead in your home or facility, contact a lead inspection company right away.
For lead consulting and inspections for residential and commercial facilities in Southern California, call us at (951) 582-9071.