“Legitimate” vs. “Compliant” Contractors

As much as I appreciate the EPA’s concern for our children’s health and safety by implementing and enforcing the new lead based paint abatement guidelines, (or not. More on that later)
And Osha’s recent campaign to assure that asbestos is properly abated.
Due to lack of enforcement, the consequences for us “Legitimate” Contractors are less than favorable.

RRP abatement
RRP abatement in progress.

In the last 3 months

a third of my prospective clients have offered to do their own demo to offset the cost of abatement. Not only does this significantly reduce our profit margin, but it leaves us with a whole new set of liabilities as we are forced to bring our workers onto sites that have not been properly abated. Thereby maximizing our exposure to hazardous conditions.
And the recent implementation of the new Cal Green Codes and water conservation measures has created the desire for many to do their jobs with no permits so they wouldn’t be subjected to the new codes and their additional expense.
And for this reason, us “legitimate” Contractors, who play by the rules, are being thrown to the curb as the “Compliant” Contractors are undercutting our prices by eliminating permit costs as well as the extra expense incurred for proper abatement practices.

If you’re going to ask us to abide by the rules, you really need to implement some enforcement. I haven’t heard of one person locally who has been cited by the EPA for non compliance. Yet they have repeatedly threatened enforcement with possible fines in excess of $30,000.
Sometimes I wonder how these seemingly obvious oversights so often go unchecked. Leaving us legitimate business people to suffer while making the non conforming companies much more appealing to the consumer.

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