The stars of HGTV’s popular Good Bones renovation series have been ordered to get the lead out.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it had reached a settlement with Two Chicks and a Hammer, Inc. — the company founded by mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk. The settlement indicates they allegedly violated a federal lead paint law.
Good Bones follows Starsiak Hawk, a real estate agent and mother of two, and her mom, Laine, a lawyer, as they buy dilapidated properties in their hometown of Indianapolis. During each episode, the pair demos a house down to the studs and renovate it into a dazzling family home, while offering a glimpse into their personal lives.
The agreed-upon penalties in the EPA settlement include a $40,000 fine, as well as producing a video about renovations involving lead-based paint that features Hawk. The company is required to share that video — and another about protecting children from lead exposure — on its social media channels.
Two Chicks and a Hammer did not admit or deny the specific allegations, according to the settlement.
The settlement stems from renovations performed in 2017 at three different properties in Indianapolis. All three homes were built prior to 1978, when the federal government banned lead-based paint.
The EPA complaint alleges that renovations at those properties did not comply with requirements in the federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. Two Chicks was not certified to perform that work and also failed to properly contain and transport the waste to prevent the release of lead dust and debris, the EPA contended.
“Compliance with federal lead paint laws is essential to protect children across the country and is a priority for the EPA,” said Debra Shore, administrator for EPA Region 5 that contains Indiana, in a statement. “With so many people watching TV shows like these for tips on remodeling their own homes, it’s extremely important for these shows to demonstrate lead-safe work practices.”
Hawk told the Indianapolis Star, which first reported the story, that her company has no control over the editing process of the show. She said that the on-camera visuals are a highlight reel that shows 42 minutes of a six-month process. She maintained the company has “always taken all precautions” when dealing with hazardous materials when demolishing structures.
But “that part of the process isn’t ‘interesting’ enough to make the TV cut,” Hawk told IndyStar. “We value our buyers’ safety and recognize the importance of the EPA and the importance of builders following safe building practices.”
Good Bones is not the only HGTV show that the EPA has targeted over the years, according to the IndyStar. The agency has settled several lead rule enforcement cases with other programs in recent years, including Magnolia Homes, Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions.
HGTV has given a 13-episode order for a seventh season of Good Bones for premiere in summer 2022. The early pickup comes six episodes in to Season 6, which has drawn 12 million viewers since its June 29 premiere, according to HGTV. Additionally, Discovery+ is prepping a companion spinoff series, Good Bones: Risky Business with Starsiak Hawk, also for premiere in summer 2022.
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