National News: Remodelers Required to Hand Out EPA Lead Paint Pamphlet

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule governing the work of professional remodelers in homes where there is lead-based paint set to become fully effective a year from now, remodelers are now required to hand out the new EPA pamphlet, “Renovate Right,” to potential clients who own homes built before 1978 so that they are aware of the new lead paint regulations.

The brochure is available free on the EPA’s Web site by clicking here, or by calling 800-424-LEAD (5323).

The rule, which will take effect on April 22, 2010, addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than six square feet of potentially contaminated painted surfaces for all residential and multifamily structures built prior to 1978 that are inhabited or frequented by pregnant women and children under the age of six.

What Remodelers Can Expect

When the rule takes effect, firms working in pre-1978 homes will need to be certified by the EPA and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. The fee for a firm’s certification is $300.

  • Training and Certification Will Be Required: Along with the firm certification, the rule specifies that, for work done in pre-1978 homes, an employee will also need to be certified as a certified renovator and be responsible for training other employees and oversee work practices and cleaning on the job.  The training, which is currently being developed by the EPA, will be conducted during an eight-hour class and include two hours of hands-on training.  The certification of a firm and a certified renovator will be valid for five years. A certified renovator will be required to take a four-hour refresher course to be recertified under the rule.
  • Specific Work Practices Will Have to Be Followed:  The rule establishes required lead-safe work practices, including: posting warning signs for occupants and visitors by the certified renovator; establishing a containment area; using disposable plastic drop cloths; and cleaning the work area with HEPA vacuuming and wet washing.  The rule also requires a cleaning inspection after the work is completed and grants the remodeler flexibility in determining the size of the work area, which can reduce the size of the area subject to containment.  In addition, the EPA rule also lists prohibited work practices ― including open-torch burning and using high-heat guns that exceed 1100 F and high-speed equipment such as grinders and sanders unless equipped with a HEPA filter.
  • Verifying the Cleaning and Record Keeping:  After clean-up is completed, the certified renovator will be required to verify the cleaning by matching a cleaning cloth with an EPA verification card. If the cloth appears dirtier or darker than the card, the cleaning must be repeated.  In addition, the certified renovator will be required to keep a complete file of records on the project for three years. These records will include, but will not be limited to: verification that the owner or occupant of the home has received a copy of the “Renovate Right” pamphlet, or an attempt has been made to inform them of the pamphlet and its contents; documentation of work practices used during the project; and the certified renovator’s certification and proof of worker training.  NAHB believes that record keeping will be a major enforcement tool for the regulation.

Learn More

For extensive information on the rule, provided by NAHB Remodelers, visit www.nahb.org/leadpaint

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