The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to delay enforcement of the new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule will provide much-needed time to get more remodelers and other contractors trained – and for EPA to get the word out to consumers about the importance of hiring a certified remodeler, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“EPA listened to our concerns and did the right thing,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
In revised guidance released on Friday, EPA acknowledged that remodelers in many parts of the country have been unable to obtain the required training to comply with the rule – a problem that NAHB has urged the agency to solve since the rule was announced two years ago.
The issue came to a head in May after floods devastated parts of Tennessee and there weren’t enough certified remodelers to complete much-needed home repairs. NAHB and its state home builders association proposed a delay in enforcing the rule — a decision EPA consented to in its letter on Friday.
While remodelers, electricians, heating and air conditioning technicians and other contractors must adhere to lead-safe work practices, including special equipment filters and a ban on open flames, EPA will not take enforcement action against firms that have been unable to obtain certification until Oct. 1 of this year.
Individual contractors must apply to enroll in a training class by Sept. 30 and complete the training by Dec. 31, 2010.
“This rule potentially affects about 79 million homeowners. That’s how many homes were built before 1978, when lead paint was banned,” Jones said. “We need significantly more contractors certified than the 300,000 who have taken the training course, and we also need to make sure that affected homeowners understand the importance of hiring a certified contractor.”
Homeowners can find a certified firm here. Remodelers can search for an EPA-approved training provider at this link or contact their local home builders association here to find Certified Renovator training sessions.