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February 18. 2014 1:55PM

Portsmouth company settles lead paint case with EPA

A Portsmouth company is among 35 companies the EPA is requiring to take additional steps to minimize harmful lead dust in renovation projects.

New Hampshire Plate Glass Corp. was cited for a window renovation project at a former school in Kittery, Maine. The school was being converted to a community center that would also house child day-care programs and was therefore a "child-occupied facility" and subject to the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP). The property was constructed prior to 1978, making lead more likely to be present.

Under a consent agreement and final order with the EPA filed Jan. 21, N.H. Plate Glass will pay a civil penalty of $10,890.

"Families deserve the peace of mind that home renovations occur without harming children," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Businesses that play by the rules deserve to compete on a level playing field. EPA will continue to enforce the nation's lead rules to protect the public from illegal and dangerous lead exposure."

The settlements with the 35 companies, issued between May 2013 and January 2014, resulted in $274,000 in civil penalties and included 17 contractors that failed to obtain required certification prior to performing renovation activities on pre-1978 homes; 21 settlements of violations for failure to follow required lead-safe work practices, and three cases involving general contractors who failed to ensure their subcontractors followed the RRP standards.

N.H. Plate Glass settled allegations it failed to assign a certified renovator to the project, failed to cover the ground with plastic sheeting or other impermeable material to collect falling paint debris, and failed to contain the work area to prevent the release of dust and debris.

Lead exposure affects the nervous system and can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and younger are most at risk.


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