Despite challenges by critics, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting” (RRP) rule took effect as scheduled on Wednesday.
About 152,000 contractors in the construction and remodeling industries had been trained and certified as required by the first day, EPA said. About 50,000 contractors still need training, and EPA says it will continue to provide ample opportunities for them to do so.
EPA has accredited 194 training providers, including 104 traveling providers.
Contractors will have an opportunity to personally question EPA about the rule in a free webinar April 29 sponsored by PWC: Painting & Wallcovering Contractor Magazine. Mark Henshall of the EPA will present an overview of the rule and take questions from participants. Visit www.pwc-magazine.com/webinars to register. A second free webinar, to be held June 24, will focus on compliance and enforcement.
The rule requires lead-safe certification of contractors and renovation firms that disturb a specified amount of paint in pre-1978 homes, schools and day-care centers. Contractors must also provide owners and tenants of those facilities with an EPA lead hazard pamphlet.
Seven states have adopted their own RRP programs in lieu of the federal program. They are Kansas, Rhode Island, Utah, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Carolina.
Thursday’s implementation came two years after the rule received final approval and six weeks after a challenge by a dozen retailers and trade associations. The critics contended that contractors had not had sufficient time or training opportunities to prepare and that another federal program in the works would require similar training.
They appealed to four senators for a delay in implementing the rule, but the senators had no public response and apparently took no action on the request.
One of the challengers was the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Yesterday, a NARI spokeswoman said, “NARI encourages all contractors to follow the law and get trained.”
The EPA declined to comment on the first day of the rule.
Note: Contractors and training providers working in Utah, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Carolina Mississippi, Kansas and Rhode Island must contact the state to find out more about its training and certification requirements.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/lead.