Three States Allege Home Depot Ignored Lead Safe Work Practices

January 12th, 2021 by Tara Taffera

The states of Utah, Rhode Island and Massachusetts filed a legal complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division on December 17, 2020, alleging that Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. violated certain provisions of U.S. EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP)— proposing more than $20 million in penalties.

Home Depot, “contracts with its customers to perform thousands of compensated renovations of target (i.e., pre-1978) housing in the United States, including the installation of products such as windows …” the complaint says, explaining that the company also enters into contracts with other renovation firms to complete projects on its behalf. The complaint alleges that from around 2013 to at least 2019, Home Depot completed renovation projects for pre-1978 housing or facilities occupied by children without a certified or EPA-authorized firm. Plaintiffs further allege that the status of pre-1978 homes were falsely changed from “lead test required” to “negative” in Home Depot’s systems. Home Depot does not admit the allegations.

Plaintiffs allege they are entitled to seek injunctive relief in a judicial action, including, but not limited to, an order requiring the defendant to comply with the RRP Rules, which require that firms performing certain renovation, repair, and painting projects for compensation, which disturb lead-based paint in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, must be certified by U.S. EPA or a U.S. EPA authorized state or tribal program, and must use Certified Firms and Certified Renovators who must ensure disclosure of RRP-related information, develop and maintain required records, and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

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