Shelton painting contractor fined by the EPA for lead-paint violations

A Shelton painting company will pay a $2,200 federal fine for failing to comply with lead-based paint renovation requirements during work on a home project, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Bill Vizzo Contractors LLC/Michael’s Painting violated the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, and the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule when during renovation work at a Monroe residence, EPA officials said.

The settlement with the Shelton contractor was one of a few in New England recently announced by the EPA.

Proper training required

In a press release, EPA officials said the settlements are intended to ensure that businesses performing painting and home renovation work comply with requirements designed to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint.

The EPA’s RRP Rule is designed to prevent exposure to lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, especially for children and infants. The rule requires individuals performing renovations for compensation at most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities to be properly trained.

There are certification and training requirements for individual renovators and firms performing renovations to ensure that safe work practices are followed during renovations.

Infants and children ‘especially vulnerable’

“Infants’ and children’s developing bodies are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead exposure, which can include lifelong impacts such as developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems,” said Curt Spalding, EPA regional administrator for New England.

Another settlement in Connecticut announced by the EPA involved Norwalk-based East Coast Pros LLC of Norwalk, for 2012 renovation work at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk, which includes the L’il Critters Preschool facility. East Coast Pros will pay a fine of $3,577.

Fines can reach $37,500 per day

The EPA’s RRP Rule became effective in 2010 and allows for the assessment of penalties that may reach up to a maximum of $37,500 per violation per day.

Since 2012, EPA has pursued 14 actions in New England to enforce the RRP Rule. Enforcement ensures both that children are being protected from avoidable exposure to lead, as well as there being a “level playing field” for contractors following the health-protective work practices in the regulation, EPA officials said.