A Long Island contractor was arrested last week, charged with violating the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (“TSCA”), making false statements, and aggravated identity theft. He was the first person charged with a felony violation of TSCA since the statute was amended in 2016 to include enhanced punishments for certain conduct posing a risk of death or serious bodily injury.
The allegations state that when this contractor was hired to mitigate a lead paint problem in a house where a two-year-old child was previously diagnosed with lead poisoning, that he embarked on the lead abatement while uncertified to do so and did not use a HEPA filter as required, putting the family at further risk. Federal regulations require that lead-based paint abatement work be performed and supervised by individuals who have been certified by the EPA.
The charges continue that the contractor responded to the EPA’s inquiry by showing them a fake contractor agreement along with forged documents that named another individual as having supervised the abatement work.
“Defendant knowingly violated the requirements of safely removing lead from a home and in so doing endangered the health of a vulnerable family,” stated the EPA Special Agent-in-Charge. “The EPA remains focused on holding accountable companies and individuals that cut corners and fail to put public health and safety first.”
If found guilty, under the TSCA the contactor could received a maximum 15-year sentence for conviction of a violation that places one or more individuals at risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Any contractor embarking on a lead abatement project, or a project where lead paint may be present, is urged to learn and abide by the rules and regulations to avoid the severe consequences for non-compliance.