EPA’s New Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule:
Will You Be Ready to Comply?
|Basics of the Rule|
|Firm Certification and Responsibilities|
|Individual Certification and Responsibilities|
|Resident Information and Education|
|Lead-Safe Work Practices and the “Cleaning Verification” Procedure|
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule will become fully effective and enforceable on April 22, 2010.
The Rule will impact a substantial number of firms and individuals, including many professional residential real estate managers and residential rental property owners, and create new regulatory requirements. Will you be ready to comply when Rule takes effect next year?
The Rule applies to all "renovations" (which is broadly defined and includes many typical maintenance activities) performed for "compensation" in pre-1978 “target housing” and in pre-1978 "child-occupied facilities" (e.g., daycare centers). The Rule’s requirements are generally triggered when paint (including shellac, stain and varnish), which has not been certified as being lead-free, is disturbed by any renovation, repair or painting project. Owners and occupants of target housing and child-occupied facilities must receive information on lead-based paint hazards before these projects can begin. Also, certain lead-safe work practice standards must be met during the work and a “cleaning verification” must be conducted before the work area can be reoccupied. Finally, certain work records must be created and maintained for no less than three years. In the first year, EPA estimates that approximately 8.4 million renovation events will trigger the Rule’s requirements.
The legal entities performing these renovations must submit an application and fee to become EPA Certified Renovation Firms. Further, individuals who work for such Firms must be properly trained and EPA certified as "Renovators" or be trained and supervised on the job by Certified Renovators. EPA conservatively estimates that 211,000 organizations (many of which will be third-party property management companies and rental property owners) will need to apply to for firm certification. Also, several hundred thousand individuals will need to be trained as Certified Renovators by EPA-accredited training providers.
Renovation, repair and painting projects that will only disturb surfaces and building components that have been tested and found to be free of lead-based paint are excluded from the Rule. Other Rule exclusions include:
· Activities that disturb less than six square feet or less of painted surfaces per interior room.
· Activities that disturb less than 20 square feet or less of painted surfaces per exterior side.
· Abatement work, which is intended to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.
· Emergency renovations necessitated by sudden and unexpected events, which are required to address immediate human safety or health hazards or to avoid significant damage to equipment or other property. These emergency renovations are exempt from the Rule’s information distribution, warning sign posting, containment, waste handling, training and certification requirements. However, the Rule’s cleaning, “cleaning verification” and recordkeeping requirements will still apply.
When any work involves window replacement, demolition of painted surfaces and/or building components, or “restricted practices,” such as using a machine sander with a dust collection shroud and HEPA vacuum exhaust port, the above exclusions do not apply.
Beginning on October 22, 2009, any legal entities that renovate, repair or paint in target housing or child occupied facilities must submit an application, including a $300 fee, to EPA in order to become a Certified Renovation Firm. Firm certification is good for five years. Firms must:
· Meet pre-renovation education requirements.
· Assign at least one Certified Renovator to each regulated project.
· Ensure that contractors and subcontractors working on regulated projects are also Certified Renovation Firms meeting the same requirements.
· Ensure that lead-safe work practice standards and the “cleaning verification” procedure are followed on each regulated project.
· Meet recordkeeping requirements, including maintaining project records for three years.
· Individually perform the renovation, repair or painting work, and train and direct the work of any other uncertified workers on the job site.
· Be physically present on the job site or available by telephone at all times.
· Be physically present during job site set-up, including posting warning signs and establishing containment.
· Assure that any dust and debris generated by the work is minimized, contained, controlled and cleaned up as the project proceeds.
· Be physically present during final cleaning of the work area and ensure that waste is properly bagged and disposed of off-site.
· Conduct the “cleaning verification” procedure.
· Prepare and maintain required project records.
Prior to conducting renovation, repair or painting projects in pre-1978 target housing or child-occupied facilities, Certified Renovation Firms must provide a new EPA booklet, entitled Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools, to the adult residents of an occupied dwelling unit. Renovators must also obtain a signed form acknowledging their receipt of the pamphlet or maintain proof that the pamphlet was mailed or that there were unsuccessful attempts to deliver it. If working in common areas of a multifamily property or in child-occupied facilities, renovators must notify residents or parents/guardians of the children, and post informational signs about the work.
The Rule requires that the work area be properly set up and contained before work begins, that lead-contaminated dust and debris generated by the work is minimized and controlled, and that the work area is properly cleaned upon completion of the work. Then, the Certified Renovator assigned to the project must conduct the “cleaning verification” procedure.
This procedure involves separately wiping uncarpeted floors, countertops and windowsills with commercially available individual wet cleaning cloths and then comparing each cloth to an EPA-issued “cleaning verification card.” For floors in the work area, one wet cleaning cloth is used for each 40 square foot section. If the initial wet cleaning cloth is darker than the images on the cleaning verification card, the Certified Renovator must re-clean that surface and then re-wipe it with a second wet cleaning cloth. If the second cloth is still darker than the images on the cleaning verification card, the Certified Renovator must wait at least one hour and allow that surface to dry completely. Then, the surface is wiped for a final time with a dry electrostatically charged cleaning cloth. This completes the cleaning verification procedure.
EPA has the authority to seek civil fines of $32,500 per offense for failure to comply with the Rule’s requirements. EPA can also seek criminal fines of $32,500, plus potential jail time, for knowing and willful violations of these requirements. Additionally, EPA can revoke the certification of any Certified Renovation Firm or Certified Renovator who violates the Rule.
To prepare to implement the Rule’s requirements, third-party property managers, multifamily property owners, trade contractors, and others responsible for or working in target housing and child-occupied facilities should consider developing a plan that includes a compliance strategy, a training strategy, a certification strategy and a recordkeeping strategy. By doing so, your organization will be well equipped and ready to meet the new requirements once they take effect in April 2010.
CONNOR Institute, a national real estate due diligence and environmental training firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, has received EPA-accreditation to train the new EPA Certified Renovator Initial full day course and the EPA Certified Renovator Refresher half-day course in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Indian Tribal lands and the four US territories. CONNOR is offering EPA Certified Renovator open enrollment classes across the country. For more information about this training, contact Jack Anderson at (443) 322-1223 or at email@example.com.