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EPA Lead-Based Paint Law is Effective April 22, 2010

The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Rule that goes into effect on April 22nd will require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools, built before 1978 to be certified by EPA and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. These practices apply to maintenance or renovation activities where six square feet or more of painted surfaces for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects are disturbed.

Under the EPA’s new rule, firms must become certified and pay a fee before completing any work on the types of facilities listed above. Firms will be required to educate the owners and occupants of the facility prior to beginning any renovation work. The EPA has provided a pamphlet, “Renovate Right”, which can be handed out to help satisfy this requirement. Individuals conducting lead-based paint activities must comply with lead-safe work practices, examples of which include containment of the work area and proper cleanup and disposal of lead-based materials. All employees of accredited firms will need to be trained in and must follow proper lead-safe work practices.

Penalties for non-compliance are stiff; $37,500 is the maximum penalty the EPA could assess per day, per violation. Companies that fail to comply will be prohibited from advertising the services for which they are uncertified.

The rule is not aimed at slamming those on jobsites but rather protecting those in the homes and buildings being renovated. Young children, in particular, are at high risk, and the levels that can affect them are alarming.

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