Lead Paint Regulations
For full details visit the EPA website.
The record keeping requirements have been changed. We now must give copies of our records within 30 days of the final invoice or completion of the project to the home owner or resident. The records that we turn over must demonstrate compliance with the training and work practices of the RRP rule, basically the checklist and the results of any testing.
The Opt-Out provision has been eliminated and lead safe work practices will apply to all pre 1978 houses. This is something we have been expecting and most of us were informed during our training this provision would be removed.
Both of these amendments are final and will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Renovate Right brochure will be amended accordingly by the EPA and NARI will alert its members when the new brochure is available.
The EPA also issued a guidance letter on April 20, 2010 to its Enforcement Division Directors in all regions announcing the rule would be fully effective on April 22, 2010. EPA will not take any enforcement action against firms who have applied for firm certification before April 22 and are just waiting for their paperwork, they expect these applications to be processed by June. EPA will still enforce rules about work practices and training requirements for these firms. This letter makes no mention of firms that apply after April 22 for firm certification so they are telling their enforcement people to go to work and begin enforcement.
If your firm is not certified and you do not have trained renovators on staff you will be breaking the law!
The EPA also published two proposed amendments to the RRP that are now open for comment.
Lead: Clearance and Clearance Testing Requirements for RRP will require dust wipe testing after completing the existing cleaning verification procedures for some/most renovations. The EPA will be accepting comments on this proposal for 60 days and expects to finalize the amendment by July 2011. Lead: RRP for Public and Commercial Buildings will apply lead-safe work practices and training requirements to public and commercial buildings. The EPA has set deadlines to issue a proposal by December 15, 2011 and take final action by July 15, 2013.
NARI will be actively involved during the comment period for both of these amendments. The changes to the clearance procures are a huge change and will make the renovation process much more expensive with required dust wipe samples sent to an independent testing lab for verification that lead levels are below prescribed levels. The current text is very confusing about the types of projects that this will effect, but it seems to be most projects!
In the publications made on the 23rd the EPA asks for specific comments on proposals made in these amendments. While anyone is free to make comments directly to the EPA, comments that come from an association, grouped together will carry more weight so we ask that you forward any comments directly to NARI so that we may compile an educated response to these amendments.
Look for more information about the proposed clearance testing from NARI in the immediate future.
Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law will require all houses, childcare facilities and schools built prior to 1978 to have certified contractors follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. If you are contacting remodelers/contractors to work on your house, childcare facility or school built before 1978, they must be EPA certified. Read below to find out more about this issue.
Lead Paint Q&A
Q. Why is lead paint so dangerous?
A. It’s the lead particles that are dangerous. If the lead paint is disturbed and/or removed, airborne particles will cover adjacent surfaces and can potentially be ingested or inhaled. In young children this can cause long-term damage to the brain and nervous system. Learning problems such as hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches are also possible effects. In adults, inhalation and/or consumption of lead from paint can cause difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain.
Q. What is the new EPA Law?
A. In summary, the law states that all renovators and maintenance professionals that work in housing, childcare facilities and schools built prior to 1978 that are removing or disturbing more than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or twenty square feet on the exterior must be trained and certified in the handling, clean up and disposal of these materials.
Q. Why is the EPA enacting this law now?
A. EPA has been working on a comprehensive plan to protect children from lead poisoning for many years. In 2006 a goal was set to complete the language and certification requirements for the public by 2010.
Q. Who does this new EPA lead paint law affect?
A. The rule applies to renovators and maintenance professionals that work in housing, childcare facilities and schools built prior to 1978.
Q. Does every contractor I use have to be certified?
A. Every contractor that disturbs or removes more than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room or twenty square feet of exterior materials needs to be certified. This includes subcontractors such as plumbers and electricians. When you search for NARI contractors on this site, the results will show you which firms have already received their EPA Certification as Lead-Safe contractors.
Q. What does certification mean?
A. There are two types of certification. First, all contractor companies must register with the EPA and certify that they will use appropriate practices with properly trained individuals when doing work in pre-1978 homes. The “lead-safe” designation in the NARI membership directory confirms which companies have completed this step. Individuals can also be certified in using lead-safe practices by completing an EPA-approved training program (including passing an exam) on how to handle and remove lead paint covered materials from your house during a remodeling project.
Q. How do I know if my contractor is certified?
A. The company and any trained individuals should be able to produce certificates issued by the EPA indicating their certification. They are also required to give you an EPA pamphlet called “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.”
Q. Even if a contractor is certified, how do I know if he is following EPA guidelines?
A. Before any work has begun, the contractor is required to give you an EPA pamphlet called “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home.” The pamphlet contains good introductory information for all consumers. Every certified lead renovator/company must test the job site at the end of the project by wiping windowsills, uncarpeted floors and counter tops with a disposable cleaning cloth. This cloth must meet the EPA visual inspection standards for safety and must be saved as part of the project documentation process and checklist. The homeowner will be able to review this cloth and checklist to ensure that the work was performed properly.
Q. Will these additional procedures add to the cost of my project(s)?
A. This will most likely increase the cost. But when you consider the potential health hazards of not properly containing and cleaning up lead, the costs can’t compare to the health ramifications associated with lead paint poisoning.
Q. Where can I get more information about this new lead paint law?
A. You may go to the EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/lead or www.hud.gov/lea or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.
When you search for NARI contractors on this site, the results will show you which firms have already received their EPA Certification as Lead-Safe contractors.