The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is set to implement the Lead-Based Paint Renovation Rules. The effective date for the rules is currently April 22, 2010. The purpose of the rule is to ensure owners and occupants of target housing (structures built before 1978) and child-occupied facilities, receive information on lead-based hazards before a renovation begins, and to require individuals and businesses to become certified in performing renovations in accordance with the EPA’s work practices.
The rules apply when an individual or business engages in any renovation of a target housing or child-occupied facility. A renovation is defined broadly to include the modification of any existing structure or portion thereof that results in the disturbance of painted surfaces (including the removal, modification or repair of painted surfaces or painted components), the modification of painted doors, surface restoration, window repair, and surface preparation activity (such as sanding, scraping or other such activities that may generate paint dust); the removing of building components (walls, ceilings, plumbing, windows); weatherization projects (cutting holes in painted surfaces to install blown-in insulation or gaining access to attics, planting thresholds to install weather stripping), and interim controls that disturb painted surfaces. (40 C.F.R. §745.83).
Prior to commencing any renovation in a dwelling unit, the owners and occupants are required to be provided with a pamphlet entitled “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools”. Additionally, the facility engaging in the renovation must obtain a written acknowledgment that the owner has received the pamphlet. The information must be provided no more than sixty (60) days prior to the renovation activities commencing. The notification provisions vary depending upon the structure being renovated.
Further, all renovations of target housing and child occupied facilities must be performed by certified businesses using certified contractors. Certification can be obtained by successfully completing appropriate course work provided by an institution accredited by the EPA. (40 C.F.R. §745.90).
The EPA has also designated certain workplace standards that must be followed in conducting any renovation, including, without limitation, the posting of signs defining the work area, isolating the work area to prevent dust and debris from leaving the work area, removing objects from the work area, closing air ducts, closing windows, covering floor surfaces, etc.
The new rules also require business to retain extensive records regarding the renovations performed for a period of three (3) years following the completion of the renovation. (40 C.F.R. §745.86).
Because the definition of target housing and renovation is so broadly defined, certification will be an absolute necessity for any individual or business engaged in the construction industry and even suppliers who subcontract the installation of their goods.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.
This information is provided by Attorney Matthew P. Mullen. If you have any questions regarding this legal alert, please contact your attorney at the firm or Matthew P. Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 330.497.0700.