EPA Sends Out Alert that Deadline for New Lead Rules is Approaching

January 13, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency sent out an alert yesterday announcing that only 100 days remain until contractors will be required to be trained, certified, and otherwise comply with its Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) regulation.  The new rules, reported on at the end of last year, impact a wide variety of trade contractors, including companies involved in window and door replacement. By April 2010, all firms doing work in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must:

  • be lead-safe certified by EPA,
  • employ supervisory certified renovators who have successfully completed an EPA-accredited one-day training course
  • use only trained workers who have received specific on-the-job training, and
  • use specified lead-safe work practices and provide designated educational material.

"Both individual 'renovators' and contracting firms must be EPA-certified," reports Michelle Price, chief of EPA's Lead, Heavy Metals and Inorganics Branch. "Even contractors with previous lead abatement training must be trained and certified under this new program. "This new program will allow your readers and subscribers to help reduce childhood lead poisoning by working lead-safe. Contractors who fail to comply will risk penalties of up to $37,500 per day as well as potential private lawsuits."

Firm certification
EPA states that firm certification is easy and straightforward–requiring contracting companies to fill out a short application, and submit it with fee to EPA. The form, and associated material, is available on EPA Web site at http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/toolkits.htm#renovator.

Urging contractors to complete and submit the form without delay, Branch reports that hundreds of firms have already been certified. "They will be able advertise that they are certified by EPA under the RRP program, and will also be given rights to use EPA’s new 'Lead-Safe Certified Firm' logo which we will begin publicizing later this month," she notes.

Firms who fail to get trained and certified could face business risks for their companies and health
risks for their employees and clients, Branch continues. EPA has authority to fine companies who fail to comply up to $37,500 per day.

Individual training and certification
"Individual certification is also easy," Branch also states. It requires successful completion of a one-day accredited training course; with no additional fee to EPA. "Over 120 training firms have already been accredited to provide the specialized, one-day RRP training. Certification for individual 'renovators' is automatic upon successful completion of training," she continues.

"We expect training classes to begin to fill up soon," Branch also states, urging companies to register employees for training now to avoid a rush and potential delays leading to non-compliance. "Thousands of individual renovators across the country have already taken this course and have
become EPA-certified renovators. These individuals learned the specific work practices that are needed to protect themselves and their clients from lead contamination, and to allow them
and their firm to work legally."

In addition to the special EPA Web site, invormation is also available by calling the National Lead
Information Center at 800/424-5323.