On June 5, 2018 EPA announced settlement of an enforcement action against Magnolia Homes (“Magnolia”). In the settlement, Magnolia agreed to pay a civil penalty of $40,000, conduct a community lead-abatement project with an estimated cost of $160,000, and post an internet video about renovating homes containing lead-based paint. Magnolia must post the internet video to social media and its website within 90 days.
Many know Magnolia as the company of Chip and Joanna Gaines in the television show “Fixer Upper.” According to EPA’s announcement, Magnolia conducted renovations on the show without the required lead-paint protections.
Magnolia’s Prompt Response
EPA’s announcement states that shortly after being contacted about lead-paint issues, Magnolia took steps to obtain EPA certification and bring its activities into compliance. Also, in the episode aired on HGTV on March 20, 2018, Chip Gaines talked about testing an old home for lead-based paint and depicted some of the precautions required by EPA’s rules. This episode demonstrated that Magnolia now understands the procedures for renovating homes that may contain lead-based paint. Obtaining the certification and airing the episode probably helped to lower the severity of the enforcement action.
Lead Abatement in the Waco Community
The announcement indicates that the community project will consist of lead-based abatement in homes in Waco, Texas that appear to present a high risk for exposure to dust from lead-based paint.
For a copy of EPA’s announcement, which also has links to other documents relating to the case and to EPA’s lead-paint program: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-reaches-settlement-magnolia-homes-alleged-lead-paint-violations-during-renovations