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New EPA rules on lead-based paint

New EPA rules on lead-based paint

Requires certification and training by April 22

A new Federal rule goes into effect April 22, 2010, to limit the risks of lead poisoning that might result from renovations made to older buildings. The Better Business Bureau warns contractors, renovation companies and DIY landlords that failure to meet new certification and training standards would result in significant fines.

“Hundreds of thousands of businesses including contractors, painters, and even neighborhood handymen will be affected by the new rules on lead-based paint safety and failure to comply is definitely not worth the risk,” said Ken Vander Meeden, BBB of Western Michigan CEO.  “Not only could you face fines up to $37,500 per violation if you’re caught ignoring the law, you’ll lose customers and, worst of all, potentially endanger the health of the children who occupy the building.”

The new Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule will go into effect April 22. Firms affected by the rule will be required to:

  • Apply to EPA to be approved as a Certified Renovation Firm and receive the necessary training and certification from an EPA-accredited training provider for Lead Safe Work Practices.
  • Assign a Certified Renovator to be present at each project and ensure that lead safe work practices are used throughout the project.
  • Provide consumers or tenants with the EPA pamphlet “Renovate Right” prior to the start of each project and maintain records documenting that the required information has been provided at each project subject to the rule.

The BBB answers the following frequently asked questions on the new Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule:

Who must become certified?

The rule covers any person or firm that performs renovations for compensation. This includes contractors, home renovation companies, window replacement contractors as well as plumbers, electricians, painters, maintenance workers and landlords who perform repairs and renovations themselves.

What types of buildings does the rule apply to?

The rule applies to any residential property built before 1978.  The rule also applies to any public building or commercial building built before 1978 where children under the age of six are present, or could potentially be present, on a regular basis. This includes, but is not limited to childcare centers, schools and hospitals.

What type of work does this rule apply to?

The rule applies to any modification made to applicable structures that disturb six square feet or more of interior painted surface per room as well as exterior work which disturbs over 20 square feet of painted surface.

How do I become certified?

Businesses and individuals seeking to become certified and trained can find more information on the process and a list of accredited trainers at: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm#contractors.

In addition to the requirement that a firm become certified, at least one person at each applicable worksite must be an “Individual Certified Renovator.”

A list of EPA accredited Certified Renovator trainers can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/trainingproviders.htm.

How long will it take?

EPA estimates that more than 200,000 contractors will apply for the new certification and applications are processed in the order that they are received. EPA has 90 days from the receipt of an application to approve or deny application for a firm’s certification.

Individuals can become certified after completing the 8-hour accredited renovator training course and no formal application to EPA is required.

For more information visit: www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

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