Hundreds of contractors nationwide have already become EPA-certified renovators in anticipation of the agency's Lead-Safe Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which takes effect in April.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging all contractors who will be affected by the rule to get trained as soon as possible, to avoid a crunch close to the deadline.
By April 2010, all firms who disturb lead paint as part of their work in pre-1978 homes, schools, and other buildings must be EPA-certified. All of these jobs must be supervised by a certified renovator who has completed an EPA-accredited one-day training course, and other employees will have to receive specific on-the-job training.
Even contractors with previous training and certification must be trained and certified under the new program. In some cases, a shorter "refresher" course may be adequate.
All contractors must be trained and certified by April 2010, and courses are available now. The EPA warns that contractors may have difficulty finding accredited training courses as the deadline nears.
Finding an accredited course is easy. EPA's website now lists over 50 accredited trainers at http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/trainingproviders.htm.
The agency advises checking the site regularly, as the list of providers grows weekly. Onsite training is also available from selected trainers.
Individual certification as a "certified renovator" is automatic upon completion of training, at no additional charge. This certification is valid anywhere in the country.
As state and tribal programs become authorized, the Agency will work closely with certified renovators and the authorized state or tribe to ensure a smooth transition.
Both individuals and contracting firms must be certified. Firm certification is straightforward: Firms complete a short application and submit it with fee to EPA. The application is now posted on http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/firmapp.pdf.
The EPA will start processing applications in October, in the order they have been received.
For more information about the RRP rule or the certification process, visit www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD .