Department of Human Services may soon regulate lead-based paint activities

From the Home Building News by Scott Barrie, OHBA

The Oregon Department Human Services (DHS) plans to introduce a bill in 2009 that would move certification and enforcement authority for lead-based paint activity from the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to, you guessed it, the DHS. They believe this transfer of authority is necessary due to the increase in the number of contractors who will be required to be certified to do lead-based paint work under new rules adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Currently contractors engaged in lead-based paint activities must be certified by DHS and licensed by the CCB. Under new renovation, repair and painting regulations from the federal EPA, the agency may begin administering programs for the new regulations as early as April 2009 in states that are not applying for a state-run program. In addition, new training standards must be approved and accredited by the EPA for state run programs by April of 2010. Contractors and training providers must also be certified and accredited by April of 2010.

OHBA is working with the DHS to come up with a training program that makes sense for contractors while protecting the consumer. However, we would like to see any potential education approved by DHS received by the CCB like all of the other continuing education requirements that begin in 2010.

In addition, the DHS would like to administer an enforcement program around unauthorized lead based paint activities. As the new rules from the EPA add certain renovation, remodeling and painting tasks, DHS sees its potential new role in enforcement increasing dramatically.

OHBA is concerned that DHS enforcement authority just adds one more group of folks to the already crowded field on potential inspections and work stoppage issues on a jobsite. It may make more sense to train local building departments or CCB enforcement individuals who already visit the jobsite rather than a whole new group of inspectors.

What we do know is that there will be changes coming in the area of renovation, repair and painting of residential and commercial structures built before 1978 in the next year and a half. We will do our best to keep you informed as the issue moves forward.

If you missed the NAHB Audio Seminar on Oct 28th in regards to the EPA’s new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule information can be found here.

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