The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Section of Justice today declared a proposed nationwide settlement with Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. resolving alleged violations of the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Fix and Portray (RRP) Rule at household renovations performed by Household Depot’s contractors across the place. The States of Utah, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, which have EPA-licensed RRP packages, are becoming a member of the United States in this action.
The settlement, in a consent decree lodged with the District Court docket for the Northern District of Georgia, involves Home Depot to put into practice a comprehensive, company-wide program to guarantee that the corporations and contractors it hires to carry out get the job done are licensed and educated to use lead-protected function techniques to stay away from spreading guide dust and paint chips during home renovation functions. House Depot will also pay a $20.75 million penalty, the highest civil penalty acquired to date for a settlement beneath the Toxic Substances Manage Act. Of the $20.75 million penalty, $750,000 will be paid to Utah, $732,000 to Massachusetts, and $50,000 to Rhode Island.
“These ended up significant violations. The rigid penalty Dwelling Depot will fork out demonstrates the worth of utilizing certified corporations and contractors in more mature property renovations,” explained Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Setting and Normal Methods Division. “Contractors hired for most function in residences designed prior to 1978, when lead primarily based paint was in common use, must be qualified. These contractors have the training to realize and protect against the hazards that can be created when guide paint is disturbed.”
“Today’s settlement will significantly decrease children’s publicity to direct paint hazards,” explained Susan Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Business office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Home Depot will implement procedure-large modifications to make certain that contractors who execute operate in houses built in advance of 1978 are EPA-qualified and adhere to direct-protected methods. EPA expects all renovation companies to assure their contractors stick to these crucial guidelines that guard public health and fitness.”
EPA found out the alleged violations when investigating 5 client complaints about Residence Depot renovations (in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin), which showed Property Depot subcontracted do the job to companies that in some scenarios did not use guide-secure work techniques, execute required publish-renovation cleansing, deliver the EPA-needed direct-dependent paint pamphlets to occupants, or maintain data of compliance with the law.
EPA then performed a comprehensive review of Property Depot’s records of renovations carried out all over the United States and recognized hundreds of circumstances in which Property Depot despatched uncertified corporations to conduct renovations that required certified and educated corporations. In addition, EPA determined occasions in which Household Depot unsuccessful to create, retain, or give compliance documentation demonstrating that particular contractors had been accredited by EPA, experienced been adequately educated, and experienced used guide-harmless operate procedures in initiatives performed in houses.
For the most significant violations tackled by the settlement, Home Depot presented its consumers inspections utilizing qualified gurus and, if dust direct hazards had been discovered, it performed specialized cleaning and verification.
Below the settlement, Residence Depot will put into practice a organization-broad software to guarantee that the contractors it hires to execute work for its customers comply with the RRP Rule in the course of renovations of properties developed prior to 1978. To do this, House Depot is implementing an digital compliance system to validate that the contractors it hires are correctly certified. Home Depot will also need its contractors to use a in depth checklist to doc compliance and supply the concluded checklist to the buyer. The checklist will lead the contactors via the actions required for RRP Rule compliance. Home Depot will also carry out hundreds of on-web-site inspections of operate done by its contractors to make certain they comply with lead-protected operate procedures. Home Depot should also examine and reply to purchaser complaints. In situations the place the contractor did not comply with Direct Protected Operate tactics Residence Depot will complete an inspection for dust guide dangers and, if they are found, offer a specialized cleaning. EPA will check Home Depot’s responses to shopper grievances.
In addition to the prerequisites similar to its renovations, Dwelling Depot will give crucial info about pursuing direct-safe and sound work methods to its specialist and do-it-your self prospects in its stores, on its website, on YouTube, and in workshops. The RRP Rule does not use to do-it-yourself jobs in your possess residence. However, the EPA suggests utilizing the rule’s lead-secure work practices in your possess dwelling tasks, so this important data will enable people find out how to safely execute dwelling improvement projects to shield them selves, and their small children.
Residential lead-centered paint use was banned in 1978 but even now stays in lots of more mature residences and residences across the nation. Direct dust dangers can happen when lead paint deteriorates or is disrupted all through home renovation and remodeling activities. Guide exposure can result in a array of well being troubles, from behavioral ailments and learning disabilities to seizures and death, placing young little ones at the finest threat because their anxious units are continue to acquiring. A blood guide test is the only way to decide if a boy or girl has a high guide stage. Parents who assume their boy or girl has been in speak to with direct dust really should contact their child’s wellbeing treatment supplier.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-working day community remark time period and remaining court docket approval. To see a copy of the consent decree and for facts on how to post a remark, visit www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
Additional information and facts about the settlement is obtainable on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/dwelling-depot-settlement-data-sheet. To make a criticism about lead risk-free work follow violations, see EPA’s web-site connection at:
The yr 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Study far more about the heritage of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Yrs.