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'Fixer Upper' stars settle with EPA on lead paint violations

14 June 2018

Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, were fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal regulations for mishandling lead-based paint in dozens of home renovations featured on the show.

The specific violations had to do with older homes and lead paint and stem back to 2015, the EPA said Tuesday.

In "Fixer Upper", the Gaineses make over newly purchased homes. It also promises to educate the public on lead-based paint hazards. The Gaineses have huge national followings on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as their blogs published on magnolia.com.

The couple's business, Magnolia Homes, has agreed to pay a $40,000 fine after the EPA determined 33 of its home renovations were "conducted without adequate lead paint protections", reports Deadline, which notes the potential fine the company faced was as high as $556,000. Those allegations were detailed in a November 29, 2017 administrative complaint filed by EPA.

"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. Houses built prior to 1978 are likely to have at least some lead-based paint and the EPA rule is created to prevent exposure to lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards resulting from renovations. "Additionally, to take its commitment a step further, Magnolia Homes made the decision to implement a compliance management program in which it adopted an enhanced renovation record-keeping checklist for use by Magnolia Homes staff and subcontractors".

In addition to the civil fine, Magnolia Homes will release a stand-alone video featuring Chip to discuss lead-based paint and safety tips.

Fixer Upper began airing in 2013 and just recently wrapped up their show's finale, becoming one of the most successful shows in HGTV's history. Joanna Gaines is pregnant with their fifth child, a boy, who is due this summer.

'Fixer Upper' stars settle with EPA on lead paint violations