Over the past couple of weeks I have started learning about the new lead paint law that is going into effect on April 22, 2010. Contractors who do renovation work on pre-1978 houses will have to obtain certification in lead containment procedures. If they do not comply with the law, the penalties are stiff: I have heard that they range from $32,000 to $37,000.
So, I am doing everything I can to get up to speed on the law as quickly as possible, and organizations like BAGB (Builders Association of Greater Boston), HBAM (Home Builders Association of Massachusetts) and NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) are running meetings and trainings to prepare for this change in the law.
As a lawyer, it is my job to anticipate where the legal issues will arise when this law is implemented.
So far, I see the following:
1. Contracts with homeowners will have to spell out the requirements and protect the contractors from liability as much as possible.
2. Contracts with subcontractors will have to allocate liability and record-keeping requirements for each party's role in the job.
3. Documentation will have to be reviewed for compliance.
4. Construction companies will need representation before the Environmental Protection Agency when being investigated or fined.
So, I will be doing my best to protect you and enable you to continue in your business in a productive, successful fashion. Now, more than ever, you will need to have your contracts reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the law.