Increase Protection from Lead-Paint Poisoning

As of July 6, 2010, a new EPA rule has been implemented requiring all contractors performing repair, renovation, or painting work in homes built before 1978 to follow lead-safe work practice requirements.

The rule removes a provision from existing regulations allowing owner-occupants of pre-1978 homes to “opt-out” of having their contractors follow lead-safe work practices if there were no children under six years of age in the home.

In April 2008, the EPA issued the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP). This required the use of lead-safe work practices in pre-1978 homes, but included the opt-out provision. This opt-out provision has been removed in the new rule. In addition, the new rule makes the RRP consistent with statutory requirements. The RRP rule also requires certification of training providers and lead-safe work practice certification for individuals involved in the construction and remodeling industry.

Because of concern that contractors in some areas may have difficulty accessing training classes, the EPA announced that it will provide renovation firms and workers additional time to obtain training and certifications so that they may comply with the new lead rules. Accordingly, Enforcement action for violations of the rule’s firm certification requirement will be delayed until October 1, 2010. Enforcement action for certification requirements against individual renovation workers will not be taken if they apply to enroll in certified renovator classes by September 30, 2010 and complete the training by December 31, 2010.

The EPA will continue to take enforcement actions against renovation firms and individuals who do not comply with the RRP work practices and associated record-keeping requirements. The lead-safe work practices include dust control, site clean up and work area containment. It is important that contractors take proactive steps to protect children, families, and themselves while they take the training and file the appropriate paperwork.

Additional information on the lead RRP program can be found at the EPA’s lead page.