FAQ’s about the EPA’s new lead based paint rules

1. What is the reason for this new rule?
Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

2. What is the OHBA doing to respond to this requirement?
OHBA, in partnership with the National Center for Healthy Housing, has certified instructors in place to teach the eight hour Renovation course anywhere in Oregon. In addition, OHBA is creating a five hour online course that will cover the lecture portion of the certified Renovator class. Anyone who takes the online course will then be approved to take the three hour hands on segment of the course.

3. Who must follow the Lead Rule’s requirements?
In general, anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Residential rental property owners/managers
  • General contractors
  • Special trade contractors, including painters, plumbers, carpenters and electricians

4. What activities are subject to the rule?
In general, any activity that disturbs paint in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, including remodeling and repair, electrical work, plumbing, painting, carpentry and window replacement.

5. What housing or activities are excluded and not subject to the rule?

  • Housing built in 1978 or later
  • Housing for elderly or disabled persons, unless children under 6 reside there
  • Zero-bedroom dwellings (studio apartments, dormitories, etc.)
  • Housing or components declared lead-free by a certified inspector or risk assessor
  • Minor repair and maintenance activities that disturb 6 square feet or less of paint per room inside, or 20 square feet or less on the exterior of a home or building

Note: minor repair and maintenance activities do not include window replacement and projects involving demolition or prohibited practices.

6. What does the program require me to do?  
Effective after April 22, 2010, firms doing work subject to this rule must be certified with the EPA (until Oregon takes responsibility for oversight of the rule).  Renovators must be trained to follow lead safe work practices. Examples of these practices include:

  • Work-area containment to prevent dust and debris from leaving the work area
  • Prohibition of certain work practices like open-flame burning and the use of power tools without HEPA exhaust control
  • Thorough clean up followed by a verification procedure to minimize exposure to lead-based paint hazards

7. What are the responsibilities of a Certified Firm?
Firms performing renovations must ensure that:

  • All individuals performing activities that disturb painted surfaces on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator
  • A certified renovator is assigned to each renovation and performs all of the certified renovator responsibilities
  • All renovations performed by the firm are performed in accordance with the work practice standards of the new rule
  • Pre-renovation education requirements of the rule are performed
  • The program’s recordkeeping requirements are met

8. How does a renovator become certified?
To become a certified renovator, an individual must successfully complete an eight-hour initial renovator training course offered by an accredited training provider. The course completion certificate serves as proof of certification. Once the Renovator is certified, he/she can train other workers in lead safe work practices.

9. What’s the difference between a certified firm and a certified renovator?
A certified firm is approved by the EPA to conduct remodeling business in pre-1978 housing. A certified renovator is approved to carry out remodeling work practices described in the terms of the EPA’s lead paint rule. A single-person company must take the certified renovator training and also register the firm with EPA. The EPA registration fee for certifying the firm is $300. There is no fee for certification of the renovator, but the renovator pays the training fee which is set by the training provider.

10. If my firm is certified, do I need to have a certified renovator?
Yes, a certified firm must have a certified renovator to carry out work practices and other requirements described in the rule.

11. Does the certified renovator need to be on the job at all times?
The certified renovator must be available to oversee setting up, containment, clean up, and cleaning verification. The certified renovator must also be available by telephone or stay on site if requested by the client.

12. Will my subcontractors need to be certified?
Subcontractors working in target housing need to be certified or supervised by a certified renovator to follow rule requirements. Subcontractors may be treated like non-certified workers and can be trained on site by a certified renovation and supervised accordingly.

13. What does the renovator certification training entail?
A certified renovator must successfully complete an eight-hour initial training course offered by an accredited training provider. The course completion certificate serves as proof of certification.

The HBA offers the required courses on a monthly basis at the cost of $169 for members and $199 for non-members. Dates for upcoming courses include Feb. 19, March 10 and March 26. Contact info@hbapdx.org to sign up. Note: Only 20 people may attend each class, so sign up now to ensure you are able to take the class before the April deadline.


5 responses to “FAQ’s about the EPA’s new lead based paint rules

  1. where is this program available?

  2. marc pentzas

    I am a contractor who installs window treatments only . Does this require certification for ead paint rule?

  3. According to the EPA website…The rule does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities where less than six square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed in a room or where less then 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior. You might want to check out http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm just to be sure.

  4. Use this link to find an approved trainer near you http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_training.htm.

  5. The primary concern of this issue is the EPA /Const. Cont, Board are not makeing this public. To let every one know about hte requirements regs. etc.

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