Chip and Joanna Gaines' Company Fined By EPA For Breaking Lead Paint Rules on 'Fixer Upper'
By Paige Gawley
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Chip and Joanna Gaines have settled with the Environmental Protection Agency after violating strict lead paint rules.
The couple's company, Magnolia Homes, will have to pay $40,000 and "take steps to ensure compliance with lead-based paint regulations in future renovation projects, address lead-based paint hazards at high-risk homes in Waco, Texas, and educate the public to lead-based paint hazards and appropriate renovation procedures," a statement on the EPA's website read.
After reviewing several seasons of Fixer Upper — the couple's former show that aired its last episode in April — the EPA found that they broke the Renovation, Remodeling and Painting Rule (RRP Rule), which requires firms to take precautions to reduce the risk of lead exposure in homes built before 1978, in 33 properties. Once notified of the violations "Magnolia took immediate steps to ensure compliance with the RRP Rule, including to obtain RRP certification and training for the firm and its staff and to ensure active compliance across all ongoing renovation projects," the EPA said.
The specific rules the Gaines broke included not obtaining EPA certification, assigning a certified renovator to properties, providing a pamphlet to home owners, posting warning signs, and disregard for the general work practice standards.
Following full compliance with the investigation, Chip, 43, and Joanna, 40, agreed to spend $160,000 on a supplemental environmental project, which will help to abate lead-based paint hazards in Waco, Texas.
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The couple also spoke about the dangers of lead-based paint in a March episode of Fixer Upper. Additionally, they will post a video to their website and social media accounts in which Chip will "discuss lead safety and depict some of the safe work practices required by the RRP Rule," the EPA said.
A spokesperson for Magnolia spoke about the settlement in a statement to ET on Wednesday.
"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 (Renovation, Repair and Painting) Rule. Shortly after being first contacted by the EPA three years ago, Magnolia Homes took immediate steps to bring its activities into compliance with [the Toxic Substances Control Act]," the statement said.
The statement continued: "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,” the Magnolia statement continued."
"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," the statement concluded.
"I am having so much [fun] now that my kids are older," she told ET at the time. "Time goes by so fast, so this was one of those things where I’m trying to cherish every moment, but back then I had four kids [aged] 4 and under. I was right in the thick of it, trying to figure things out, and now I have four older helpers. They are so excited."
The couple spent five seasons renovating homes with their children. Here's more on that story: