Home Depot Fined nearly $21 million in RRP violations

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Many paint contractors avoid taking on lead paint jobs because of the strict protocol involved, and even more so because of the financial consequences of failure to comply with the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. It was this failure to comply that netted Home Depot a $20.75 million fine – the highest civil penalty so far assessed under the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

Along with the federal government, the states of Utah, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island were part of this action and received a portion of the settlement monies.

The action is a result of an investigation into complaints from customers in five states that Home Depot’s contractors were operating in an unsafe manner, including failure to implement lead-safe practices and not cleaning up properly after the work was done. As the investigation proceeded, the government discovered that the contractors were not lead certified, a requirement for working on the properties where they were hired. Also, Home Depot failed to keep required documentation on their contractors to show whether they were certified in lead-safe practices.

More abating, more doing

As part of the settlement, the company will be required to be more vigilant in future lead jobs, which includes inspecting the job sites to make sure proper protocol is followed and documenting the job through a checklist that will lead contractors through every step of the RRP rule. The completed checklist will then be provided to the customer. The company is also required to provide information on lead-safe practices to contractors and homeowners on its store displays and social media outlets.

For the most serious violations addressed by the settlement, Home Depot offered its customers inspections using certified professionals and, if dust lead hazards were found, it performed specialized cleaning and verification.

“These were serious violations. The stiff penalty Home Depot will pay reflects the importance of using certified firms and contractors in older home renovations,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

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Comments

We need more RRP Training

Email: 
jeff@soundpaintingsolutions.com
Interesting story.

If we compared fine to revenue, how does this compare to other contractors being fined for RRP violations?

Email: 
Gatcombpainting@yahoo.com
Precisely what I was wondering...

Email: 
jason@paris-painting.com
'More Abating, More Doing.' Classic!

Email: 
Timkenney@comcast.net
This is unfortunate but w/o penalties too many “painters” wouldn’t abide by the RRP guidelines.

Email: 
turpenspainting@gmail.com
Another reason not to use big box stores.

Email: 
turpenspainting@gmail.com
Another reason not to use big box stores.

Email: 
crh.artist@gmail.com
Too many people don’t take safety seriously. Glad we have guidelines so everyone can be aware of the precautions they need to take. This is a wake up call!

Email: 
cole@novopainting.com
Great to know that this is being enforced. It's been a problem for too long.

Email: 
aaron@ppdpainting.com
While not in full agreement with the regulation or the actual means by which they require it's important to understand and follow rules to mitigate risk. My guess is HD just subcontracted this work in an effort to displace responsibility in the first place. Fingers crossed they will raise their prices so that the subs can afford to actually do the work correctly?

Email: 
daniel92.wood@gmail.com
Construction site safety is heavily regulated, and skirting the rules could result in significant fines. Researches have shown that lead contains paints of various, including well-known, manufacturers. So only in 5 out of 21 prototypes the level of lead did not exceed the maximum recommended indicator of 0.009%. A new law requires the RRP Lead Renovator Initial Course https://www.ablesafety.com/course/8-hour-epa-rrp-lead-safe-certified-renovator-initial-blended is mandatory and must be passed by the end of the year. It contains a hands-on training component, therefore the majority of the class may be done online (6 Hours) but participants will still be required to attend a small portion to participate in the hands-on activities (2 Hours).

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