EPA Announces Lead Paint Rules
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP) rule was fully implemented on April 22, 2010. Under the current rules, contractors who perform renovations, repairs and/or painting projects in most pre-1978 housing, child-care facilities and schools (i.e., that have, or are assumed to have, lead-based paint) must comply with federal accreditation, training, certification and recordkeeping requirements, or risk fines of up to $37,500 per day per violation. Adding to the already complex regulatory regime, EPA has just taken three new actions that widen the rule's potential impact on the construction industry. Most notably, EPA is also exploring whether or not to impose the RRP requirements to the exteriors - and possibly even the interiors - of all public and commercial buildings.
AGC has distributed news articles that explain the legal requirements and a contractor's responsibilities under EPA's RRP rule, which was finalized in 2008 with a compliance deadline of April 22, 2010. When the rule came out, it contained a provision that exempted a renovation firm from the training and work practice requirements, if the homeowner provided a certificate declaring that no child under age six or pregnant women lived in the house. On April 22, however, EPA finalized a rule effectively closing that exemption. EPA also made a separate rulemaking proposal that would require contractors to perform dust-wipe testing after most renovations covered by the RRP rule and provide the results to the owners and occupants of the building. In addition, also on April 22, EPA gave notice of its intention to investigate lead-based paint hazards that could occur when public and commercial buildings are renovated. If hazards exist, then EPA will propose regulations, according to the agency's advance notice of proposed rulemaking. These actions come as part of a lawsuit settlement, wherein EPA agreed to propose several revisions to the RRP rule. Following is more information.