The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently led a focused enforcement effort to combat lead paint hazards in New Haven, Conn.

Over a several-week period during the time of year when home renovation projects often occur, EPA conducted 49 inspections to assess whether contractors were complying with the lead paint “Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.” In addition, EPA also conducted 16 inspections to be sure landlords follow the federal Lead Disclosure Rule that lets tenants know about lead paint in their units.

In addition to the 65 total inspections in the New Haven area, 40 companies applied to formally become certified firms and EPA finalized enforcement actions against six companies that were in violation of the renovation rule. All six companies paid fines and have come into compliance with the standards.

In launching the initiative, EPA sent letters to about 200 home renovation and painting contractors in and around New Haven. The letter notified the contractors that EPA would inspect a number of them in June 2014 and invited them to an information session. It also offered an expedited settlement with a reduced penalty for a single violation of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. One company, Tim Jones New Look Remodeling of North Haven, took this offer, paid a small $1,000 fine and came into full compliance with the rule by becoming a certified firm.

The five other enforcement actions concluded as part of this New Haven initiative include the following:

The Whalley Glass Co., a window replacement firm in New Haven, paid $31,286 to settle claims of 12 violations stemming from four renovation projects done between 2012 and 2014 in Madison, New Haven, and West Haven. The alleged violations included performing renovations without getter proper certification, without using certified workers, without providing lead hazard information to the owners, and without retaining records showing it complied with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.

JPAA Chen Services of New Haven paid $4,700 and will complete an environmental project worth $42,300 to settle claims it failed to disclose whether it knew of any lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards at properties it rents out in New Haven. The environmental project will involve the removal and replacement of lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards, followed by lead clearance testing. Chen will address windows, trim and a porch, among other components, at housing it owns. As a result, future tenants of these units will have reduced chances of exposure to lead.

Whitney Management and Maintenance Co. of Hamden, a property management company, paid $10,285 to settle claims it violated the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Whitney was charged with four violations in performing a 2014 renovation project in East Haven.

DiNuzzo Painting of Wallingford, a home renovation and painting company, paid $1,480 to settle claims of three violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule while the company was painting a house in New Haven. This settlement was approved as part of a pilot program that authorizes reduced penalties for small business, those with annual sales under $300,000.

Hatillo LLC of New Haven, a home improvement company, paid $1,290 to resolve claims it violated the Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule at a residential property in New Haven. This settlement was also part of a pilot program allowing for reduced penalties for violating this rule on the part of small businesses.

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