A Vacaville, Calif.-based HVAC firm was fined $51,000 for failing to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) lead-paint rule, the EPA's regional office in San Francisco announced today. 

Blue Mountain Air was penalized for failing to get certified under the EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule as well as failure to use certified renovators or maintain required records while it helped renovate four foreclosed homes in California's North Bay region in 2011 and 2012.

RRP requires that renovators engage in certain safety practices while working on a home built before 1978 in which it's possible that occupants and workers will be exposed to dust from lead paint. Such paint was banned from houses in 1978 because of the health dangers that lead brings, particularly to small children and the elderly. 

Today's news comes three weeks after the same EPA regional office reported settlements with nine companies over alleged RRP violations. Each was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty.

"Nationwide, more than 100,000 contractors have completed the process to become certified," EPA's announcement today said. "A single day of training is required to learn about the lead-safe work practices, but many companies continue to operate without training or certification and without regard for the potential harm to children."

Read more about RRP developments