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New EPA Lead Paint Regulations

Will the new lead paint regulations keep us safe and healthy? Will they be cost-effective? Will they encourage Demolition as opposed to Deconstruction?

Renovation, repair, and painting has gotten a little bit safer with the newest EPA lead paint regulations which can be found in the "Amendment to Opt-Out and Recordkeeping Provisions." Currently lead poisoning is still the most widespread environmental disease affecting Americans, children and adults alike. As we all know, lead paint can have catastrophic effects on young children, thus, the recent amendment seeks to lessen the chances of putting children under the age of 6 and pregnant women in harms way. The regulation will do away with the "opt-out" provision and instead hold any contractors/landlords responsible for performing renovation, repair or painting projects that could potentially disturb lead based paint in homes, schools, apartment buildings or child care facilities built before 1978. Exceptions to the rule include repairing less than six square feet of an interior, less than twenty square feet of an exterior or if the child occupied facility or home were built after 1978.

To perform the projects successfully and legally, the contractors/landlords must be certified & follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Under new regulation, there are very specific methods for setting up a containment area, disposing of waste and cleaning up which must all be supervised by the "Renovator." Other changes to take place will be the prohibition of open-flame burning of lead-based paint, allowing only HEPA exhaust controlled power tools for removal, and the operation of heat guns will be strictly limited to 1,100 degrees Farenheit or below on lead-based paint. Along with new work practices and certification standards, contractors/landlords must also provide the owner, occupants, and/or operator of child-occupied facility with a copy of the records which verify compliance.

By July 6th, contractors will need to complete the application for certification and at least one employee will need to be licensed as a "Certified Renovator." This single employee must attend an eight-hour class with two hours of hands-on training to be certified for five years. Upon certification, the "Renovator" will then be presented with the task of educating and training co-workers as well as supervising work practices and cleaning. To re-validate their certification after the five years is up, the "Renovator" must participate in a four-hour continuing education refresher course.

Noncompliance comes with an expensive price-tag, can range to upwards of $37,000/day, and if a child comes into contact with lead particles or contracts lead poisoning, this will now leave the contractor legally liable.

If you have any more questions pertaining to the new regulations, click here to see the new EPA policy in full.