WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with Marrs Construction Co., of Bella Vista, Arkansas, addressing the company’s violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Under the settlement, Marrs agrees to provide information about lead safety rules on its cable TV program “Fixer to Fabulous” on the Home Garden Television (HGTV) Network and through Marrs’ social media sites. Marrs is also required to pay a $35,000 civil penalty. As detailed below, this is one of multiple cases that EPA has settled involving improper lead-based paint renovation practices demonstrated on home renovation television shows on the HGTV/Discovery network.
In 2018, Marrs performed two renovations at residential properties constructed prior to 1978 without complying with applicable RRP Rule requirements. Specifically, Marrs failed to: (1) obtain recertification before beginning renovations, (2) assign a certified renovator to each renovation, (3) maintain records showing their compliance with RRP measures, and (4) perform work in accordance with the work practice standards. Since being contacted by EPA, Marrs obtained RRP firm certification, certified its complying with the RRP Rule, and pledged to comply in all future renovation activities.
“It’s important that the public understand that any renovation, repair or painting project in a pre-1978 home can easily create dangerous lead dust or expose children to dangerous, sometimes deadly, paint chips,” said David M. Uhlmann, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Home renovation TV programs in particular have an obligation to show the public how to renovate old homes safely and lawfully, not in a manner that is dangerous, misleading, and puts the wellbeing of children at risk.”
Lead exposure can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement in children. While lead is dangerous to all children, not all children are equally exposed to lead, nor do they suffer the same consequences of exposure. The harmful impacts of lead disproportionately impact environmentally overburdened, low-income families and their communities.
As part of the settlement, Marrs will help raise awareness about the EPA Lead RRP program by including educational information about compliance with the Lead RRP Rules in future episodes of “Fixer to Fabulous,” one episode in their upcoming season five and two episodes in season six. The company has also agreed to produce and post on their social media sites a 30-second video public service announcement that focuses on EPA lead safety measures. The company will also make it available to EPA for future use.
EPA has designated the reduction of childhood lead exposures as a high priority. The action announced today supports the agency’s continuing commitment to implement the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.
EPA has settled several other RRP enforcement cases with programs that air on HGTV/Discovery, the same network that airs Fixer to Fabulous, including Maine Cabin Masters, Two Chicks and a Hammer, Magnolia Homes, Texas Flip N Move, and Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions.
More information about EPA’s Lead RRP Rule is available on the Agency’s Lead website.
Actual article can be found at EPA site. https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-settlement-addresses-contractors-actions-renovation-tv-show-violating-lead-based