Time is short for companies and contractors to prepare for new federal lead-safe regulations that take effect in April, the Environmental Protection Agency is warning.
Fewer than 100 days remain until contractors must be trained, certified and otherwise comply with EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) regulation.
This regulation affects a wide range of contracting firms, including renovators, painters, electricians, plumbers, maintenance firms, and more.
By April 2010, all firms doing work in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must:
• Be lead-safe certified by EPA;
• Employ supervisory certified renovators who have successfully completed an EPA-accredited one-day training course;
• Use only trained workers who have received specific on-the-job training; and
• Use specified lead-safe work practices and provide designated educational material.
Both individual “renovators” and contracting firms must be EPA-certified under the new rules. Even contractors with previous lead abatement training must be trained and certified under this new program, which is aimed at reducing childhood lead poisoning.
Contractors who fail to comply will risk penalties of up to $37,500 per day as well as potential private lawsuits.
Among the rule’s requirements:
For firm certification, companies need to complete a short application and submit it with a fee to EPA. The form and more information are available at http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/toolkits.htm#renovator. The EPA is urging companies to submit these forms as soon as possible.
Hundreds of firms have already been certified, EPA reports. They will be able advertise that they are certified by EPA under the RRP program, and will also be given rights to use EPA’s new “Lead-Safe Certified Firm” logo, which EPA will begin publicizing this month.
Firms that fail to get trained and certified could face business risks for their companies and health risks for their employees and clients. EPA has the authority to fine companies up to $37,500 per day for lack of compliance.
Individual training and certification
Individual certification requires successful completion of a one-day accredited training course; there is no additional fee to EPA.
More than 20 training firms (see http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/trainingproviders.htm) have already been accredited to provide the specialized, one-day RRP training, which focuses on lead-safe work practices and legal issues. Certification for individual “renovators” is automatic upon successful completion of training.
Thousands of individual renovators across the country have already taken this course and have become EPA-certified renovators. EPA expects training classes to fill up soon and, again, urges contractors to register as soon as possible.
More information about the RRP Rule is available at www.epa.gov/lead or the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD . EPA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right is available at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/sbcomplianceguide.pdf.