Beginning April 22, 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency’s new RRP ruling will take effect which will have a significant impact on the residential remodeling industry. Any homes built prior to 1978 will be considered target housing as well as any other child occupied facilities and schools. Prices on larger jobs can be expected to increase as much as 10-15% although the impact on smaller jobs would be less drastic.
Homes targeted by this ruling would require very stringent practices involving the containment of lead based paint dust during demolition and construction in order to prevent, or minimize, further risk of lead poisoning.
Unfortunately very little has been done to inform the public even though this law was passed in April of 2008 and planned implementation was then set for April of this year. Considerable price increases could have been avoided if work was completed earlier on.
Contractors who will be working on these target dwellings are now required to get certification from the EPA which involves completing an 8 hour course on lead based paint containment ($200-$250) and submitting the required application to the EPA with a $300.00 processing fee. We will then be required to purchase tools and equipment needed for compliance with the regulation. The EPA originally estimated processing of this application to take no more than 90 days although the lack of public awareness has created a last minute frenzy to get certified which has the processing backlogged for up to 160 days. Fines for non compliant contractors and maintenance workers will be as much as $37,500.00 for each day a violation has occurred. After certification, contractors will be authorized, at the owners request, to perform limited lead testing to be done with EPA certified test kits. Any non certified employees are required to be trained on the job by the certified renovator. Documentation for employee training, lead testing, containment, and cleanup is required and should be kept on hand for three years after job completion.
What Homeowners need to know;
After the ruling takes effect, any contractor performing work on target housing which disturbs more than 6 square feet, (interior), or 20 square feet, (exterior), of lead based paint will be required to be certified.
No more than 60 days prior to the start of construction, your contractor is required to give you the EPA pamphlet “Renovate Right”, which contains information about the effects of lead poisoning in children and adults as well as a brief process overview for the containment of lead based paint dust.
Areas to be worked on are to be sealed and off limits to the homeowner and warning signs are to be posted around the entry to the contained area.
A thorough cleaning must be performed at the end of any work which disturbs lead based paint which requires passing a cleaning verification test.
For more information visit the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/lead
Other related articles;
See a video on lead containment procedures http://bit.ly/a60JE7
Washington Post http://bit.ly/9zMmu7