‘Fixer Upper’ Couple Faces EPA Settlement for Lead Paint Violations

Posted on Jun 18 2018 - 11:36am by Liz Dominguez

fixer upperEven America's favorite house-flipping couple isn't exempt from following lead-safety standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The lighthearted remodeling show, "Fixer Upper," hit a snag during its last season. The Gaines' real estate company, Magnolia Waco Properties LLC, which does business as Magnolia Homes, recently reached a settlement with the EPA to resolve alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule).

How did this come about? The EPA filed a complaint this past November alleging that Magnolia Homes did not comply with their renovation requirements for homes with possible lead-based paint during the remodel of 33 properties in Waco, Texas.

The settlement will bring changes in how Magnolia deals with lead-based paint in the future. The company will be implementing an internal monitoring program that ensures EPA-compliance for future renovation projects. Additionally, Magnolia will be spending $160,000 to abate any lead-based hazards in the homes it renovated where occupants are at high risk for exposure. Magnolia will also have to pay a civil penalty of $40,000.

That's not all, however. The "Fixer Upper" stars will also be adding an emphasis on educating its audience to the dangers of lead-based paint. The show aired an episode on March 20 which addressed proper removal of lead-based paint. Magnolia Homes will also be creating a video that details the dangers of lead and proper removal procedures for renovating affected homes. Chip Gaines, a Magnolia Homes partner and one of the show's leading personalities, is also spreading the message on social media. He tweeted the following in March:

"It's important that consumers and contractors understand that improper home renovation can expose residents and workers to hazardous lead dust," said EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine in a statement. "Through this settlement, Magnolia is putting in place safeguards to ensure the safety of its renovation work and making meaningful contributions toward the protection of children and vulnerable communities from exposure to lead-based paint."


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