Lead-based Paint Renovation , Repair and Painting Rule
The Renovation, Repair and Painting Program went into effect on April 22, 2010. Contractors were scrambling to become certified and make themselves familiar with the law's requirements. Now contractors are waiting to see if the law is going to be enforced and if companies will be fined for violations. It is my responsibility to read the law and to predict where the legal issues will arise so that construction companies can protect themselves. It is time to start the new year right and have your contract reviewed for compliance with state and federal law with clauses that protect you and your business.
By now, most contractors know that RRP applies to all pre-1978 homes where more than 6 sq. ft. of painted surface or 20 sq. ft. of exterior painted surface will be disturbed. From the EPA:
The Rule does not apply to those who are not doing work for compensation, so homeowners renovating their own homes are exempt. It does not apply to post 1978 buildings, new construction, minor repairs or public or commercial facilities not occupied by children under 6. It also would not cover minor repairs or work that does not disturb painted surfaces. Contractors need to be careful however, because they cannot simply rely on homeowner assurances that the home was built after 1978 if there seems to be evidence to the contrary.
Contractors who work on pre-1978 homes are required to certify their firms with the EPA, and take the 8-hour certification course if they are going to be disturbing lead paint themselves. I recommend that they keep documentation of the lead-safe practices for more than three years, because the statute of limitations for a lead-poisoned child does not even start running until that child reaches the age of eighteen.
So, even if the law is not being enforced, protect yourself and your family by following the lead-safe practices. Let the homeowner know that you are a professional, and you intend to follow the law and protect them as well.