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College Works Painting pays $32,508 EPA penalty for failing to inform homeowners or residents of possible lead hazards

Release Date: 04/06/2011
Contact Information: Barbara Ross, EPA Lead Coordinator, (206) 553-1985, ross.barbara@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle – April 6, 2011) College Works Painting, a company operating in Oregon, has agreed to pay $32,508 penalty for alleged violations of the federal pre-renovation rule. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that the Irvine, California based company violated the federal pre-renovation rule while renovating nine properties in Portland, McMinnville, and Hillsboro, Oregon.

The federal Pre-Renovation Education Rule requires painters, contractors, carpenters, property-management companies and others involved in remodeling or renovation of pre-1978 housing to provide home owners and occupants with an EPA Renovate Right lead hazard information pamphlet. In 1978 lead was banned from paint used for housing.

This pamphlet educates home owners or occupants on how to minimize 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 and minimizing lead hazards.

The violations in this case took place during renovation work done in 2008.

College Works failed to establish and maintain records necessary to demonstrate compliance with Toxic Substances Control Act regulations, according to the EPA. College Works has corrected the violations and is now in compliance with EPA’s Pre-Renovation Education Rule.

“Families have a right to know about possible lead health hazards around the home,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. “By reading the Renovate Right pamphlet families can learn how to avoid hazardous lead dust during renovations.”

Lead-based paint can be on walls, ceilings, woodwork, windows, or even floors. When lead-based paint on these surfaces is chipped, sanded, or scraped, it breaks into tiny, barely visible pieces that children can swallow or inhale. Even small repair and renovation jobs, including repainting projects, can create enough lead dust and chips to harm children.

Lead poisoning is a silent disease that can cause serious health consequences for children because of its detrimental effects on both physical and mental development. Nearly one million children in the country are affected by elevated lead levels.

For copies of the Federal pamphlet,
Renovate Right, the Federal Rule, or information on the hazards of lead paint, call 1-800-424-LEAD or via the Internet at: www.epa.gov/lead.

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