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Chip and Joanna Gaines Fined $40,000 by the EPA for Breaking Lead Paint Rules During Fixer Upper

People logo People 6/6/2018 Karen Mizoguchi

a group of people posing for the camera © Joanna Gaines/Instagram Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ company Magnolia Homes has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after they broke strict rules while removing lead paint during remodels on their HGTV show Fixer Upper.

The EPA reviewed footage from several seasons of Fixer Upper and found 33 homes renovated on the show “did not depict the lead-safe work practices normally required,” according to a statement on EPA’s website Tuesday.

From not following statutes to minimize risks from lead paint exposure to not covering floors and vents with plastic to capture paint chips, the EPA found multiple violations of regulations which are particularly important in homes built before 1978 that are being renovated.

The couple’s company, Magnolia Homes, has agreed to pay a $40,000 civil fine and also made sure to demonstrate how to properly remove lead paint in an episode that aired in March.

The Gaines have also opted to make further amends by spending $160,000 on a lead-paint abatement program for homes and child-occupied facilities in their hometown of Waco, Texas.

A Magnolia spokesperson addressed the EPA penalty in a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday.

“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.

“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.

It concluded, “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 last episode from the fifth and final season of Fixer Upper aired in April.

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