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Punishment Fits the Crime for On-Air Violator of RRP Rules

A creative judge might sentence someone who steals catalytic converters to provide free car repair. Similarly, the EPA has directed an HGTV star who violated RRP rules on his show to discuss lead-safe practices…on his show.

1 February, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement with the stars of HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” show after the host’s construction company violated the  Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule…on the show.

To its credit, the EPA created a clever penalty that is unique to the violator: asking the HGTV star to discuss lead safety rules on his show. It’s like asking a serial speeder to give safety talks at high schools, or directing someone who frequently gets cramps because they swim shortly after eating to distribute brochures on “Healthy Aquatics/Dietary Balance” at the community pool’s snack bar.

In 2018, according to the EPA, David Marrs “performed two renovations at residential properties constructed prior to 1978 without complying with applicable RRP Rule requirements.” He failed to obtain recertification before beginning renovations, assign a certified renovator to each renovation, maintain records showing their compliance with RRP measures, and perform work in accordance with the work practice standards.

“It’s important that the public understand that any renovation, repair or painting project in a pre-1978 home can easily create dangerous lead dust or expose children to dangerous, sometimes deadly, paint chips,” said David M. Uhlmann, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Home renovation TV programs in particular have an obligation to show the public how to renovate old homes safely and lawfully, not in a manner that is dangerous, misleading, and puts the wellbeing of children at risk.”

The EPA says Marrs has been very cooperative.

This isn’t the first time the EPA has settled cases with TV remodelers. Other cases involved people associated with the these programs: Maine Cabin Masters, Two Chicks and a Hammer, Magnolia Homes, Texas Flip N Move, and Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions. 

According to the EPA: “Lead exposure can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement in children. While lead is dangerous to all children, not all children are equally exposed to lead, nor do they suffer the same consequences of exposure. The harmful impacts of lead disproportionately impact environmentally overburdened, low-income families and their communities.”

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