EPA Publishes New Regulations for Lead Paint Renovations

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorWashington, D.C.–The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new regulations for its Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP). The guidelines establish rules for lead-based paint renovations, repairs and painting in housing and child-occupied facilities constructed prior to 1978 and are designed to prevent the introduction of lead hazards created by a renovation. They do not apply to abatements.The rule states that, beginning April 22, 2010, any person or firm performing the renovation must be properly trained and certified to use safe practices. Renovation firms will be required to be EPA-certified.Effective immediately, property owners and managers, as well as contractors, will now be required to follow specific notification guidelines to prevent lead-based paint hazards. For common spaces, owners and managers must inform residents by posting informative signs that describe the nature, location and dates of renovation. “Renovate Right,” a brochure providing basic facts and information about lead safety, must also be distributed to tenants. This pamphlet will be mandatory as of December 2008.“Renovate Right” describes steps residents should take when living in an older building undergoing renovation. Additionally, it details procedures that property owners must follow to prevent lead hazards, including ensuring that the contractor is trained and aware of the new rules. Contractors are required to provide this pamphlet to property owners prior to beginning the renovation. The new guidelines apply when more than six square feet of interior space or more than 20 square feet of exterior space is disturbed. Homeowners can choose to opt out of the rule’s requirements if they occupy the housing, it is a child-free facility and no pregnant women or children under the age of six reside in the home.Until the federal rule goes into effect, the EPA recommends that contractors contain the work area, minimize dust and clean up thoroughly to prevent any hazards.