Saturday, February 6, 2010

April Deadline Fast Approaching for EPA-Required Lead Paint Remediation Certification

April 22, 2010.  Why is this date important?  If you are a home repair or remodeling contractor, as of April 22 you must be certified as having completed an EPA-accredited training program prior to performing any renovation, repair, or painting (RRP) in a home built before 1978, or in any child-occupied facility (typically child care facilities and schools).  This requirement is part of EPA's RRP regulations, which actually first became law in March 2008.  The RRP rules already require remodeling contractors working on pre-1978 homes to give homeowners a pamphlet entitled "Renovate Right" prior to starting work, and to keep a copy of a receipt signed by the homeowner confirming that you gave it to them.

Penalties for non-compliance with the RRP rule include civil and criminal penalties, up to $25,000 per violation per day and one year's imprisonment, or both.  Lead-based paint is assumed to be present at renovations covered by the regulation (pre-1978 houses and child-occupied facilities).  It is up to the contractor to keep good records of documentation to prove that the RRP rule was complied with.  The rules require that these records be kept for three years following the work.

For more information about the rule, visit EPA's RRP website.  If you have questions about the rule or how to become certified, contact your EPA regional office.  Also check with your local builder or contractor associations to see if any EPA-approved training is scheduled.  For example, for contractors in the Chicago area, the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association has several upcoming training dates scheduled.  My fellow construction law attorney Andrea Goldman, author of the blog "Home Repair Contractor vs Homeowner," has also posted about the RRP rule and Massachusetts builder/remodeler associations planning training on her Facebook page.

Nate Hinch is an attorney and partner at the law firm of Mueller, Reece & Hinch, LLC.  He has offices at 404 N. Hershey Road, Suite C, Bloomington, IL 61704, and 809 Detweiller Drive, Peoria, IL 61615, and can be reached by phone at (309) 827-4055 and email at


  1. Wow. I wonder how many contactors will do this...if any.

  2. The EPA has a good reference called "Using Barriers to Contain Dust and other Pollutants" Here is the link from their site. Barriers should be used to contain the spread of dust and other pollutants from the work area to other parts of the home. A simple barrier consists of 6 mil poly sheeting taped over doors and other openings in the room. Poly sheeting should also be taped over any supply and return registers for the home's heating, cooling, or ventilation system that are in the room to avoid spreading the pollutants or contaminating the ducts. Having blocked off registers, you should be sure to provide ventilation for the area. An exhaust fan, with provision for make-up air, complements this strategy well. For more information, see the discussion of ventilation containment strategies that create a pressure barrier to prevent the spread of pollutants. ZipWall's new ZipPole system is a great system for only $169, half the price of the original ZipWall Barrier System. Click here to learn more: