"Before buying, renting or renovating a home, be sure to enlist a professional's help to check for lead-based paint," Chip Gaines reminded his Twitter followers in March, along with a link to the on the matter.
The tweet was timed to that week's Fixer Upper episode, in which Chip also spoke about the proper way to deal with lead-based paint. It turns out, both messages were part of an agreement he and wife Joanna made with the EPA following a under the Toxic Substances Control Act. So was paying a $40,000 civil penalty and pledging to put an additional $160,000 toward a supplemental environmental project (SEP) meant to clear Waco-area homes of lead.
The couple's company, Magnolia Homes, broke the provision that protects occupants from exposure to dangerous lead levels, which is particularly harmful to children and which many pre-1978 homes contain, as a result from home renovations. According to the , "demo day" depicted in several seasons of the show did not demonstrate EPA-required lead-safe work practices.
Magnolia Homes complied with the investigation and immediately took steps to remedy the problem, starting by obtaining certification for the firm and the staff. "Magnolia also sought to improve the public's appreciation for the serious hazards of lead-based paint contained in older homes and the precautions necessary to reduce those hazards," the notice reads, referring to the mention on the HGTV series, Chip's tweet, and another video in which Chip will again discuss the issue.
The Gaineses' company provided the following official statement to Ikaroo.info and other outlets:
"The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint alleging that Magnolia Homes did not comply with all of the requirements of the RRP Rule. Shortly after being first ed by the EPA three years ago, Magnolia Homes took immediate steps to bring its activities into compliance with TSCA. 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. We continue to be proactive with our efforts to ensure total compliance moving forward, and remain committed to raising awareness in our community and our industry."