Home Repair: What is the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program?

The safety of lead paint has been a concern for many years. Recently though, the government has started making changes that will make homes and businesses safer. But, what is the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program and who does it effect? The following is everything you need to know about the program.

What Is It?

The program was created in 2008 and went into effect on April 22, 2010. The program is meant to reduces the chances of lead exposure when homes and businesses that will have children under the age of 6 in them are being renovated. This program targets homes and businesses that were built pre-1978. While lead paint and lead paint dust can be hazardous to young children, the plan may be a bit far-fetched. After all, not a lot of children are licking walls.

Who’s Affected?

The rules are rather technical, but it all boils down to homes and businesses that were built prior to December 31, 1977 that are visited frequently by the same child that is under the age of 6 years old. Frequently, as defined by the program, is two days per week in which the visits are at least 3 hours long or 6 combined hours per week or 60 combined hours per year. The program also affects target housing, which is defined as housing for the elderly or disabled that is not occupied by children or a 0 bedroom dwelling.

What’s Required?

The program requires that renovations and repairs be carried out in a way that limits exposure to lead paint. This includes the clean up. Homeowners must also be provided with a brochure that will explain the risks they will be exposed to during the renovation/repair. Renovation companies must also pay $300 for a 5 year certification as well as follow a number of rules and regulations for properly doing renovations and repairs on older homes and businesses.

What Are the Fines for Failure to Comply?

Contractors who fail to comply with the program can be fined up to $37,500 per incident. The EPA is not joking around either. A Maine contractor, who was the first to feel the EPA’s wrath, faces up to $150,000 in fines for non-compliance.

Whether or not the program is going to the extreme is questionable, but the EPA is serious. If you’re a contractor performing renovations on homes constructed before 1978, you need to comply with the Lead Renovation, and Repair Program or you could face stiff penalties. Save your business by getting certified and following the rules exactly or you could face thousands of dollars worth of fines.

About the Author: Rob Leab recently opened a new business. In addition to replairing and replacing his door thresholds, windows, and fixtures he had to take remedial action to repaint all the rooms in the old building he leased. He’ll be ready to open his office in 2013.