Home Depot has reached a settlement with two federal agencies, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine because its contractors failed to properly handle lead paint in customers’ homes.
The fine is the largest proposed penalty in United States history under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The settlement is part of deal home depot reached with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.
Home renovation companies that sub-contracted with Home Depot are accused of cutting corners during renovations.
According to the EPA, the contractors for Home Depot were cutting corners when removing lead paint, spreading dust and paint chips. There were also instances where Home Depot did not make sure contractors performing renovations were property trained in lead safety.
Lead paint was banned in 1978 because it is linked to serious health problems, including developmental issues in young children.
It’s not clear where the $20 million will go, but there’s no mention any of it will go to victims.
Home Depot released a written statement saying, “These instances do not represent our high standards and expectations. When we found out about this, we moved quickly to contact all customers who might have been impacted and we significantly strengthened our lead safety systems and approach.”