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The EPA announced lead-based-paint enforcement actions—for a total of more than $64,000 in settlements—against five companies in Southern California, including four remodeling firms. The remodeling firms—Pacific Home Remodeling in Los Angeles, Hartman Baldwin in Claremont, Create RE in El Segundo, and Ameko APS in Ponoma—failed to comply with federal regulations requiring them to protect workers and the public from exposure to lead and violated the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, according to a news release from the agency.

Hartman Baldwin failed to renew its EPA certification to do renovation work between 2015 and 2019, failed to post warning signs indicating the potential dangers present, and did not retain proper records. The firm agreed to pay $12,897 for the violations.

Pacific Home Remodeling performed renovation work without EPA certification and without ensuring the individuals doing the work were certified, according to the EPA. The company also failed to contain waste from renovation activities and did not retain proper records for ensuring a certified renovator performed on-the-job training for workers. Pacific Home Remodeling agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.

Create RE performed renovation work without EPA certification, did not clean the work area of dust and debris, and lacked proper records demonstrating compliance with lead-safe work practices. The company agreed to pay $5,135 for the violations.

Ameko APS performed renovation work without EPA certification, failed to retain proper records, and failed to provide clients with an EPA-mandated brochure about lead-safe work practices. The firm paid $9,000 for the violations.

RRP requires that when remodelers are working in houses built before 1978 on projects that could disturb lead paint, they must determine whether any lead paint is present and—if they do find presence of the paint or didn't do a test—must then use certain practices to contain the spread of the lead-paint dust while they perform the remodel. The company doing the work and the renovators following lead-safe work practices both must be certified by EPA-approved training programs.

In addition to the penalties, each company made corrections to its operations, including becoming EPA-certified, according to the EPA.