On April 22, 2010 the federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) new “Renovation, Repair, & Painting Rule” for lead based paint will take effect. The new rule requires owners to follow lead-safe work practices when disturbing a painted surface via sanding, demolition, renovation, repair, and other means in pre-1978 or “target” housing as well as facilities occupied by children.
The bottom line is that this new rule will significantly change the way property managers, renovation and remodeling contractors, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades do business in housing built before 1978 and child-occupied facilities. The legislation includes new training requirements, additional notifications and disclosures, new work practices, new clearance requirements and expanded records requirements. Property managers and owners should be diligent in making sure their building staff and outside contractors thoroughly understand their obligations under the new EPA rule.
New Training Requirements
The rule requires individual renovators/contractors to complete a state or EPA accredited course and obtain certification. This includes building employees who do work that disturbs lead based paint Owners and contractors can get a list of accredited trainers at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/trainingproviders.htm The rule also requires firms that employ workers to have a company license issued by the EPA. In the past, the EPA rules for lead based paint only governed activities for abatement. Workers who have already been trained under Local Law 1 and who already have a Lead Safe Work Practices Certificate can be grandfathered in by taking a 4 hour refresher course given by a certified training firm.
Owners who use outside contractors should make sure they are properly trained in Lead Safe Work Practices under the new rule and should ask to see their certificates.
Notifications and Disclosures
The new rule requires contractors to notify tenants before disturbing any painted services by giving them a hand out called the ‘Renovate Right” pamphlet. This pamphlet, replaces the “Protect Your Family from Lead” pamphlet previously required. You can get a copy of a pamphlet by going to the EPA website http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/rrp. htm. Contractors must also give tenants a disclosure form informing them of the nature and timing of renovation activity and the potential of lead hazards. The EPA has a sample for contractors and owners can use http://www.epa.gov/ lead/pubs/rrp.htm. In addition, workers (including your building staff) are required to post warning signs around the affected areas.