HGTV and DIY Network stars Nicole Curtis and Tamara Day reached settlements with the EPA over alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Curtis, the star of HGTV's "Rehab Addict" operates Detroit Renovations in Detroit, Mich., and Day, the star of DIY Network's "Bargain Mansions" operates Growing Days in Kansas City, Mo.
The alleged violations of the RRP Rule depicted on the shows include performing home renovations for compensation without obtaining EPA renovation firm certification and failing to comply with work practice standards for the safe handling and disposal of lead-based paint.
The RRP rule 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.
Under the terms of the settlements, the two companies have agreed to pay civil penalties. Additionally, Curtis and Day, and their companies, will take steps to ensure compliance with lead-based paint regulations in future renovation projects, according to the EPA. Both will "educate the public about lead-based paint hazards and appropriate renovation procedures" in videos, social media postings, and public events.
“It’s important that consumers and contractors understand that renovating older homes can expose residents and workers to hazardous lead dust,” Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA’s office of enforcement and compliance assurance, said in a prepared statement. “Through these settlements, these companies are putting safeguards in place to ensure the safety of their renovation work and helping to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint.”
The EPA also reached separate settlements with four Kansas City area contractors for multiple alleged RRP Rule violations identified within renovation work completed on "Bargain Mansions" episodes. Remco Demolition, Open Door Homes, Homoly and Associates, and KC Demo have each come into compliance with the RRP Rule and agreed to and agreed to pay civil penalties. Civil penalties collected by the EPA for violations on "Bargain Mansions" and "Rehab Addict" total a combined $59,000.
"Rehab Addict" and "Bargain Mansions" are not the first home improvement television shows to be targeted by the EPA for lead-based paint violations. In June 2018, Chip and Joanna Gaines of "Fixer Upper" agreed to pay $160,000 for lead-paint violations stemming from work done on 33 properties in Waco, Texas. The Gaineses also paid a civil penalty of $40,000 and were required to broadcast a video detailing the proper handling of renovations in homes that have lead paint.