As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Law Goes Into Effect Today!

  1. Apply for certification with the EPA now. If you are not certified as of April 22, 2010, you cannot do work that disturbs lead paint in target housing.
  2. Contractors cannot contract away liability from enforcement by the EPA. You cannot shield yourself from liability. All contractors and subcontractors are responsible for following the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting containment procedures.
It is April 22, 2010, and the Lead Paint Law goes into effect today. If your firm has not received certification from the EPA, you cannot do work that disturbs more than 6 interior sq. ft. or 20 exterior sq. ft. of paint on pre-1978 housing. What should you do?

1. Apply for certification today at the EPA website, and stay tuned. If your application is pending there may be announcements that allow for work until certification is granted. However, as of now, you may not do work that disturbs paint!

2. Have the homeowner agree to test for lead. If lead is not found in the home, you do not have to use the lead-safe practices. Make sure the lead testing firm agrees to indemnify and defend you if you are sued. If lead is found, ask the homeowner to agree to pay for abatement before you start work.

3. Do not work on renovation projects on pre-1978 homes until you receive your certification.

4. Have a certified firm GC the project, and receive on the job training for the lead-safe procedures. If you are a certified renovator, use the lead-safe practices and document everything you do. Understand that you cannot GC the project unless you have received your certification from the EPA.

That's all I can think of for now. Remember, the fines are currently $37,500.00 per day per infraction. Do not take risks when it comes to compliance with this law.

For excellent information on the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, you can also read Shawn McCadden's blog: http://www.shawnmccadden.com/

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