New EPA Lead-Based Paint Rule Effective This Week
To Our Clients, Co-Counsel and Friends: We write to provide you with an important update relating to the Renovation, Repair and Remodeling Rule promulgated on April 22, 2008 (effective April 22, 2010) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), 40 C.F.R. 475 (the “Rule”). The Rule regulates lead-safe work practices for owners of rental properties and contractors who renovate, repair, or prepare surfaces for painting (“Lead Paint Activities”) in pre-1978 buildings used as homes, child-care facilities or schools. The Rule’s requirements can be divided into certification and training, notice, record-keeping, and work practices.
It is critical to note that this update addresses the Rule as it pertains to Lead Paint Activities as defined above. Lead Paint Activities do not include lead paint abatement. The Rule defines “abatement” as “any measure or set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.” This, of course, is different and distinct from renovation activities that may disturb lead-based paint.
Certification and Training:
Effective April 22, 2010 all (1) property owners of rental housing or child-occupied facilities (“Property Owners”);1 and (2) contracting firms must be certified by the EPA before performing any Lead Paint Activities. All Renovators (individuals directing or performing Lead Paint Activities) must be trained pursuant to an EPA accredited training course before they can become certified. Individuals who have previously completed an accredited lead-based paint abatement worker/supervisor course, or EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development renovation training course may be eligible for the four (4) hour refresher course in lieu of the eight (8) hour
initial renovator training course.
To become certified a Property Owner or contracting firm must submit the Application for Firm Certification with payment of the appropriate fee (fees will vary depending on the number of states and type of certification sought). EPA has ninety (90) days from receipt of your application to approve or disapprove. Certification lasts for five (5) years. Every five (5) years renovators will be 1 The requirements discussed in this update do not apply to homeowners engaging in Lead Paint Activities in their own home. required to take a refresher training course.
Prior to commencing Lead Paint Activities contracting firms must: distribute EPA’s information pamphlet entitled Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools to the owner and occupants and/or parents of the children attending a child-occupied facility. In lieu of such distribution, if the premises is a multi-family housing or childoccupied facility, informational notices may be placed in visible locations on the premises describing the nature, location and dates for the Lead Paint Activities.
All documents must be retained for three (3) years following the completion of the Lead Paint Activities. Documents that must be retained specifically include, but are not limited to: reports certifying that lead paint is not present; records relating to notice; any documents exempting the premises from compliance with the Rule; and all documents supporting compliance with the Rule.
Renovators must ensure overall compliance during Lead Paint Activities. A Renovator’s duties include the following: using EPA acceptable materials; providing training to all workers engaging in Lead Paint Activities; and remaining physically present at the premises during Lead Paint Activities.
If you have any questions regarding this update, a particular building or a general construction issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.