Chip and Joanna Gaines Fined $40K by the EPA for Breaking Rule on 'Fixer Upper'

Chip and Joanna Gaines may be HGTV's cutest couple on Fixer Upper, but they're also in trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency after allegedly violating lead paint safety rules during their renovations.

The couple's company, Magnolia Homes, was fined $40,000 by the government agency after allegedly breaking the Renovating, Remodeling and Painting Rule, also known as the RRP Rule, during the filming of Fixer Upper.

The rule requires businesses to take precautions when renovating homes built before 1978 to minimize lead exposure from unsafe paint, according to the EPA, which accused the couple of failing to obtain EPA certification, not assigning a certified renovator to properties, not providing a pamphlet to home owners, not posting warning signs and disregarding general work place standards.

Magnolia Homes must "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," the agency noted in a press release.

Once the EPA sent out the notice of penalty to the Gaines' company, the agency noted they "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 HGTV power couple, in addition to paying the fine, also showed viewers how to safely remove lead paint in an episode of their show and promised to spend $160,000 on a lead paint reduction program in Waco, Texas, where they are based.

The notice added that Magnolia Homes also "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 couple said goodbye to their hit show in April, with Joanna writing a farewell note to the song and her fans on their website.


"This season of life has been rewarding, challenging, unbelievably fast and furious and nearly everything in between. Back in September when Chip and I posted the blog announcing that this season would be our last, it still seemed so far away," Joanna wrote at the time. "At the time, we were knee-deep in the restaurant renovation, we had filming left to wrap up, and we were working toward finishing up several projects. April felt like it was forever away, but somehow it snuck up on us. Time is funny like that, the days sometimes seem long, but the weeks, months and even years fly past us when we least expect it."

Photo credit: HGTV