Owners, developers and builders working in the renovation arena beware: the EPA’s new regulations on lead paint take effect on April 22, 2010. The regulations are contained at Title 40, Part 745 of the Code of Federal Regulations. There are some very important highlights:
Effective April 21, no firm may offer or perform renovations in “target housing” without certification (40 CFR 745.81). Target housing means any housing constructed prior to 1978, so renovators working in homes, apartments or condominiums built prior to 1978 need to take this seriously.
There are only very limited exceptions, such as where a certified inspector has determined the project is free of lead paint beyond permitted levels (40 CFR 745.82). Projects with no children or pregnant woman that are owner occupied can also qualify for excluding coverage, but only if the owner signs off that the firm is not required to meet the regulatory practices (40 CFR 745.82).
- Firm’s performing renovations have extensive obligations to give disclosure and notice to building occupants in writing prior to renovation, including providing mandating EPA publications (40 CFR 745.84)
- The regulations further include specific work practice standards, so watch out for potential employee personal injury claims and OSHA inspections and violations as well (40 CFR 745.85)
- Even relatively minor work is swept up in the requirements: generally work disrupting more than 6 square feet of painted area is regulated (40 CFR 745.80, 745.83)
- Persons and firms performing work in this arena must provide their customers the EPA’s brochure, Renovate Right (40 CFR 745.81)(please note: the publication requirement is already in effect, so if you are not doing that now, you need to start immediately!).
On a final note, there is an entire training and certification regime established by the EPA. In a down economy, this may be a good area to jump in and develop expertise and a market niche.