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 RRP Rule in Plain English

The Lead-based Paint, Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule is causing contractors to panic. It seems as though every time we get a handle on what is required, there is a new or proposed change in the law. In Massachusetts it is particularly confusing because the state has published its own emergency regulations to the Central Register which could become law ninety days from April 16th. If the state law is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, then the Division of Occupational Safety will take over administering the State law, and contractors will have to learn a new set of rules that will be as strict or stricter than the current rule.

In addition, the Opt-Out is now expiring as of July 6, 2010, and there is a new notification requirement that goes into effect on that day as well.  Contractors will now be required to submit their lead documentation to the homeowner within thirty (30) days of completing the renovation, or upon final invoice.  The EPA's Sample Recordkeeping Checklist will suffice for that purpose: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/samplechecklist.pdf.

Since the MA rules have been published, it is highly likely that they will go into effect in the middle of July.  There is a public hearing on the new rules on May 24, 2010, and I plan to attend.  If you have opinions regarding the new law, you should go as well.

In accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A, § 2, the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety will hold a Public Hearing to receive comments on proposed amendments to its deleading regulation, 454 CMR 22.00, which include new provisions for renovation, repair and painting work conducted in target housing and child-occupied facilities, and to 801 CMR 4.02 with regard to licensing fees charged to Lead-Safe Renovation Contractors and providers of Lead-Safe Renovator-Supervisor training.  The proposed regulations are authorized by M.G.L. c. 111, §§ 189A through 199B and M.G.L. c. 149, § 6 for 454 CMR 22.00; and M.G.L. c. 7, § 3B and M.G.L. c. 111, § 197B(e) for 801 CMR 4.02 454 (16) and (18).  A hearing will be held on Monday May 24, 2010, from 10:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. in the South Street Amphitheater of the UMass Medical School at 333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA

If you see me there, please come say hello!

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