May 28th 2010
EPA Lead Paint Rule Affects All Homes Builder Prior to 1978
On April 22, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began implementation of the new Lead: RRP rule. The rule currently calls for extensive precautions to be taken by a firm contracted to perform renovations on pre-1978 “targeted homes*” and child-occupied facilities where paint is disturbed.** However, the EPA has announced the release of an amendment which will remove what’s called the “opt-out provision,” which means this rule will apply to ALL homes built prior to 1978. This amendment, which also requires contractors to provide a copy of the records they are required to keep under the rule, will go into effect on July 6, 2010.
This information is especially important to renters and home-owners in the New Orleans vicinity, as nearly 90% of the homes in our area were built pre-1980. There is no way to tell without individual testing how many of our homes contain lead paint, but the hazards of this paint are known: it has been known to cause damage to children’s brains and nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. It is important to everyone in our community, including those in the home-building industry, to take necessary precautions to prevent the spreading of this toxic substance to our children.
In order to comply with these federal safety regulations, contractors are required to undergo comprehensive training – consequently incurring additional costs. As a result, contractors will be forced to increase their rates to consumers. It is important that all consumers are aware of this, and know that their contractor MUST be registered and certified with the EPA for the work done on their home to comply with this federal rule. Undoubtedly, there will be those contractors who choose not to comply, so their bids will come in lower than those of certified contactors. As an informed consumer, it is your responsibility to make sure you work with only the law-abiding and responsible builders & remodelers.
The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans (HBAGNO), along with the Louisiana Home Builders Association (LHBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), have been working collaboratively for several months to find a way to keep costs down for all parties, while still complying with the rule. For now, though, it is important for everyone to stay informed of the rule – whether you are a remodeling contractor or a homeowner considering a future home project.
- Targeted Homes: Homes with children under 6, pregnant woman, home where a child visits regularly.
- Disturbing paint: Methods include but are not limited to – sanding; grinding; demolition of interior plaster walls; small surface disruptions such as drilling and sawing; removing paint using heat guns, open flame torches, chemical paint removers; dry scraping; using a power planer.
Brief Overview of the Rule:
The RRP rule applies to renovations on homes and child-occupied facilities built prior to 1978; providing those renovation projects disturb at least 6 square feet of painted interior surface or at least 20 square feet of painted exterior surface.
The new regulation will require firms working in pre-1978 homes to register as a Certified Firm, and at least one employee from that firm will need to be a Certified Renovator.
Stay Informed! Visit http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm for the most up-to-date rule information and lead paint hazards. An updated list of Certified Renovators is available by visiting the Remodelers Council section of the HBAGNO website:www.home-builders.org.
Questions? Visit our website listed above, or give us a call.
New Beginnings Enterprises, LLC
2010 HBA Remodelers Council Chair
(504) 339-2006 •
HBA Education & Communications Director 504.837.2700