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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

EPA Fines Prudent Technologies $65,450 for Failure to Adhere to Repair and Painting Rule at Omaha Lead Site

Prudent Technologies, of Kansas City, Mo., has agreed to pay a $65,450 civil penalty to resolve violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule at two properties within the Omaha Lead Superfund Site.

Prudent Technologies, working under a contract with EPA’s Superfund program, was performing renovation activities designed to stabilize paint at each location. Paint stabilization includes scraping and painting the exteriors of houses to protect EPA’s remedy at the site, which consists of removing lead-contaminated soil from contaminated properties.

At the first location, Prudent failed to follow lead-safe work practices as required by the RRP rule. The violations included failure to post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area; failure to close all doors and windows within 20 feet of the renovation before commencing work; failure to cover the ground with plastic sheeting or other disposable impermeable material extending 10 feet beyond the perimeter of surfaces undergoing renovation before the renovation; and failure to clean the work area upon completion of the work.

Violations at the second location included failure to follow lead-safe work practices as required by the RRP rule; failure to post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area; and failure to cover the ground with plastic sheeting or other disposable impermeable material extending 10 feet beyond the perimeter of surfaces undergoing renovation.

Since 1999, EPA has been working cooperatively with contractors, local officials, agencies, institutions, community organizations, residents and property owners to sample and remediate lead-contaminated soils from Omaha’s residential yards, schools, day care facilities, parks and playgrounds. Addressed under EPA’s Superfund program, the Omaha Lead Site, consisting of approximately 27 square miles of eastern Omaha, has been on the National Priorities List since 2003.

The RRP rule is a part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule requires each person or firm hired to perform a renovation to be certified and to use specific work practices to minimize lead-based paint hazards for workers and occupants. Under the RRP rule, general contractors can be held liable for regulated renovation work that subcontractors perform for the company. This includes record-keeping requirements (e.g., handing out the Renovate Right pamphlet, keeping Lead-Safe Work Practices checklists, etc.) and work practices requirements (e.g., training workers, putting up appropriate signs, using disposable impermeable material to contain dust and debris, etc.).

Today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which the Centers for Disease Control recommends public health actions be initiated. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.

As part of its settlement with EPA, Prudent Technologies has certified that it is presently in compliance with TSCA and its regulations.
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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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