“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have found themselves in hot water with the Environmental Protection Agency.
The stars' company, Magnolia Homes, is accused of not following proper protocol regarding lead-based paint at 33 properties.
Magnolia Homes reached a settlement with the EPA this week and will pay a penalty of $40,000 and spend $160,000 to abate lead-based paint hazards in homes and child-occupied facilities in Waco, Texas.
The EPA said it reviewed video footage of renovations of older homes in multiple seasons of “Fixer Upper” and found it “did not depict the lead-safe work practices” required by the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP). The agency said Magnolia “took immediate steps to ensure compliance with” regulations in the future, as soon as it was notified.
The violations included failure to provide homeowners with a pamphlet about the risks of lead-based paint, a lack of signs to caution people about work areas, and not obtaining an EPA certification before doing certain renovations.
The renovations in question allegedly violated the Toxic Substances Control Act in regards to lead-based paint, according to the EPA.
In compliance with the EPA settlement, Chip Gaines addressed the hazards of lead paint on the HGTV show and also talked about lead-based paint safety on his social media account. He is also expected to create a short video about the dangers of lead.
The EPA said Magnolia was cooperative in its investigation and volunteered information.
“It’s important that consumers and contractors understand that improper home renovation can expose residents and workers to hazardous lead dust,” Susan Bodine, the head of enforcement at the EPA, told The Hill 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.”
Lead can affect the body’s organs, and children are particularly susceptible to the dangerous effects, according to the EPA.
The Hill noted that Magnolia did not admit to any of the allegations put forth by the EPA.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.