The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating home improvement store The Home Depot over compliance with agency rules governing work on sites where lead paint is present, reports Remodeling editor Craig Webb.
Lead paint can cause serious health risks to those exposed, which is why it was banned from paints in 1978. It can cause developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders--even seizures and death--mainly involving infants, small children, and the elderly.
This isn't the first time the government agency has investigated the company. The news comes 15 months after the EPA announced it reached a $37,065 settlement with The Home Depot At-Home Service, as a result of alleged violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule at a project site in Arvada, Colo. Other home improvement stores have been found liable as well--Last September, Sears paid a $400,000 civil penalty, while three years ago EPA imposed a record $500,000 civil penalty on Lowe's for alleged violations of the Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule.
"SEC regulations require us to disclose certain information about proceedings arising under federal, state or local environmental provisions if we reasonably believe that such proceedings may result in monetary sanctions of $100,000 or more," THD said in the "legal proceedings" section of its annual report. "In January 2017, the company became aware of an investigation by the EPA’s criminal investigation division into the company’s compliance with lead-safe work practices for certain jobs performed through our installation services business. The company has also previously responded to civil document requests from several EPA regions. The company is cooperating with the EPA."