Waterbury CT (10/27/2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached a settlement with Russell Apartments, LLC, a Connecticut property management and development firm located in Waterbury, for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The company agreed to pay a penalty of $25,000 and to certify its return to compliance with these federal laws.
“Reducing exposure to lead and other chemicals is a top priority for EPA, especially in communities that may have shouldered a disproportionate share of exposure,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “This settlement, triggered by EPA’s Connecticut Geo Initiative on Lead, increases awareness and improves compliance with lead paint renovation laws, as well as asbestos Clean Air Act laws, to ensure Waterbury families are better protected.”
EPA alleged that Russell Apartments, LLC (Russell) violated both the asbestos regulations under the CAA Section 112 and the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos (Asbestos NESHAP) and the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule under TSCA.
Russell allegedly violated the CAA’s Asbestos NESHAP rule by failing to notify EPA of its intention to renovate, failing to adequately wet while stripping asbestos, and failing to keep asbestos waste material adequately wet. The company also allegedly violated the Lead RRP Rule by failing to train and certify their contractors in lead-based paint remediation when it carried out regulated renovation activities at a facility at 73 – 77 Bank Street in Waterbury.
Both alleged violations occurred in areas of the facility containing regulated asbestos-containing material and lead-based paint. After Russell discovered the potential violations, the company obtained the services of an environmental abatement firm to address violative conditions at the site and bring the facility into full compliance.
The facility is located in a potential environmental justice area of concern and was part of a geographic initiative in Connecticut to address areas with environmental justice concerns. This is also the first known case by EPA’s New England Region, that addressed both CAA asbestos and TSCA lead-based paint violations.
Over the past several years, EPA New England has conducted geographically focused outreach and compliance assistance efforts to raise awareness about lead-based paint hazards among painters and home renovation companies, property managers and landlords, as well as private homeowners. Though lead-based paint was banned in 1978, EPA focuses its work in certain areas because they were identified as areas with a higher risk of lead paint exposure due to older housing stock, high rates of renter occupied housing, and mapped data showing elevated blood lead levels.
EPA prioritizes educating companies and informing the public about federal lead paint rules. EPA’s RRP Rule is designed to prevent children’s exposure to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards resulting from renovation, repair and painting projects in pre-1978 residences, schools and other buildings where children are present. If lead painted surfaces are to be disturbed at a job site, the RRP Rule requires individual renovators to complete an initial 8-hour accredited training course and the company or firm that they work for to be certified by EPA. These baseline requirements are critical to ensuring that companies take responsibility for their employees following proper lead-safe work practices by containing and managing lead dust and chips created during such projects. Further, the RRP Rule requires that specific records be created and maintained to document compliance with the law.
Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems. Lead exposures to pregnant woman can impact their unborn children’s health as well.
Federal Lead Paint
- Lead Paint RRP Rule
- How to Find an RRP Certified Firm
- How to get RRP Firm Certified
- How to find an RRP Trainer
- Report a lead paint violation
Contact Information: Mikayla Rumph (firstname.lastname@example.org) (617) 918-1016