October 18, 2021

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Household Depot to Pay back $20,750,000 Penalty for Nationwide Failure to Stick to Principles for Conducting Renovations Involving Direct Paint | OPA

5 min read

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Division of Justice right now declared a proposed nationwide settlement with Household Depot U.S.A. Inc. resolving alleged violations of the EPA’s Guide Renovation, Mend and Portray (RRP) Rule at home renovations executed by Household Depot’s contractors across the country.  The States of Utah, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, which have EPA-approved RRP packages, are joining the United States in this action.

The settlement, in a consent decree lodged with the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, necessitates Dwelling Depot to apply a comprehensive, company-vast plan to make sure that the firms and contractors it hires to conduct function are licensed and trained to use guide-safe and sound perform procedures to prevent spreading lead dust and paint chips in the course of household renovation actions.  Home Depot will also pay out a $20.75 million penalty, the greatest civil penalty obtained to day for a settlement under the Poisonous Substances Command Act.  Of the $20.75 million penalty, $750,000 will be paid out to Utah, $732,000 to Massachusetts, and $50,000 to Rhode Island.

“These ended up serious violations. The stiff penalty Home Depot will fork out demonstrates the significance of using certified companies and contractors in more mature household renovations,” reported Principal Deputy Assistant Legal professional Typical Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Atmosphere and Natural Methods Division.  “Contractors employed for most work in houses constructed prior to 1978, when direct dependent paint was in prevalent use, should be accredited.  These contractors have the education to recognize and avert the hazards that can be made when direct paint is disturbed.”

“Today’s settlement will appreciably lower children’s exposure to lead paint dangers,” stated Susan Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Workplace of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.  “Home Depot will employ program-extensive adjustments to guarantee that contractors who complete perform in households built ahead of 1978 are EPA-certified and adhere to guide-harmless procedures.  EPA expects all renovation providers to assure their contractors comply with these vital regulations that safeguard public well being.”

EPA uncovered the alleged violations when investigating 5 shopper problems about Dwelling Depot renovations (in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin), which confirmed Home Depot subcontracted get the job done to companies that in some situations did not use direct-safe do the job tactics, conduct needed put up-renovation cleaning, provide the EPA-essential lead-based mostly paint pamphlets to occupants, or preserve records of compliance with the legislation. 

EPA then executed a complete critique of House Depot’s information of renovations carried out throughout the United States and identified hundreds of cases in which Home Depot sent uncertified firms to carry out renovations that demanded accredited and educated firms.  In addition, EPA recognized situations in which Dwelling Depot failed to build, keep, or provide compliance documentation displaying that certain contractors experienced been qualified by EPA, experienced been appropriately skilled, and experienced utilised direct-protected get the job done procedures in initiatives carried out in residences.

For the most really serious violations addressed by the settlement, Dwelling Depot available its shoppers inspections applying qualified pros and, if dust lead hazards ended up identified, it executed specialised cleaning and verification.

Below the settlement, Dwelling Depot will employ a enterprise-large software to make sure that the contractors it hires to perform perform for its buyers comply with the RRP Rule during renovations of homes developed in advance of 1978. To do this, House Depot is utilizing an electronic compliance method to confirm that the contractors it hires are correctly accredited.  Home Depot will also call for its contractors to use a thorough checklist to document compliance and present the accomplished checklist to the consumer.  The checklist will direct the contactors via the actions essential for RRP Rule compliance.  Home Depot will also carry out hundreds of on-web page inspections of perform performed by its contractors to make certain they comply with direct-safe perform procedures.  Home Depot ought to also investigate and reply to customer complaints.  In scenarios wherever the contractor did not comply with Lead Protected Get the job done procedures House Depot will accomplish an inspection for dust direct dangers and, if they are observed, deliver a specialized cleansing. EPA will keep track of Home Depot’s responses to consumer complaints.

In addition to the needs linked to its renovations, House Depot will present vital details about next direct-protected work practices to its skilled and do-it-you customers in its retailers, on its web-site, on YouTube, and in workshops.  The RRP Rule does not use to do-it-oneself initiatives in your own house.  However, the EPA recommends making use of the rule’s lead-risk-free function methods in your possess dwelling tasks, so this essential information will enable family members understand how to safely complete property improvement projects to safeguard them selves, and their little ones.

Residential direct-primarily based paint use was banned in 1978 but nevertheless remains in a lot of older homes and flats throughout the nation.  Guide dust hazards can take place when lead paint deteriorates or is disrupted in the course of residence renovation and reworking routines.  Guide exposure can bring about a range of wellness challenges, from behavioral diseases and learning disabilities to seizures and dying, putting youthful kids at the best threat mainly because their anxious methods are nonetheless producing.  A blood guide examination is the only way to figure out if a youngster has a high direct degree.  Dad and mom who believe their youngster has been in make contact with with guide dust ought to contact their kid’s health and fitness treatment service provider.

The consent decree is subject matter to a 30-day public comment time period and remaining court approval.  To view a copy of the consent decree and for information and facts on how to submit a comment, stop by www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

Further more data about the settlement is readily available on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/residence-depot-settlement-information-sheet.  To make a criticism about lead secure function apply violations, see EPA’s web site connection at:

https://www.epa.gov/lead/report-guide-based mostly-paint-complaints-suggestions-and-violations.

The calendar year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Office of Justice.  Master extra about the record of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150A long time.

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