EPA Rule: All Contractors must get Lead-Safe Certified
Pay $75-$870 for certification training; EPA penalties of up to $37,500 per violation, per day, for violators
July 14, 2010
On April 22, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. EPA’s says common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children, and therefore they are using their authority to regulate public actions related to this activity.
Under the 79-page rule, beginning April 22, 2010, persons performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in residential homes, apartments, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978, must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The rule applies to contractors, residential rental property owners/managers, painters, plumbers, electricians, carpenters or anyone else who is paid to disturb paint in housing or child-occupied facilities during remodeling, repair or maintenance.
EPA now requires the use of EPA-certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Persons and companies doing renovation work must now pay the EPA fees for specific training courses, ranging from $75 to as high as $870 per course.
To maintain renovator certification or dust sampling technician certification, an individual must complete a renovator or dust sampling technician refresher course accredited by EPA under the rule or by an authorized State or Tribal program within 5 years of the date the individual completed the initial course. If the individual does not complete a refresher course within this time, the individual must re-take the initial course to become certified again.
Firms performing renovations must retain and, if requested, make available to EPA all records necessary to demonstrate compliance with this subpart for a period of three years following completion of the renovation.
The EPA imposes heavy penalties on contractors and firms for violating the various provision of the rule. EPA may suspend, revoke, or modify an individual’s or business contractor’s certification if they fail to comply with all the Federal lead-based paint statutes or regulations.
EPA (or a state, if this program has been delegated to it) may file an enforcement action against violators seeking penalties of up to $37,500 per violation, per day.
The rules do not apply if you work on your own home. Renovations performed by landlords or employees of landlords must comply with the rules.
EPA states, "The rule is estimated to result in quantified benefits of approximately $700 million to $1,700 million in the first year. " and "The rule is estimated to result in net benefits of--$50 million to $1,000 million in the first year, based on children’s IQ benefits alone."
Click here for the EPA Lead Rule webpage
Click here for a PDF of the rule: EPA; Lead, Renovation, Repair and Painting program (79 pages, 587K, Federal Register, April 22, 2008)
Click here for a PDF of EPA’s Compliance Guide: Handbook for Contractors, Property Managers and Maintenance Personnel (32 pages, 5.47MB, July 2010)
Click here for fee information