EPA Lead RRP Requirements Draconian
In April of 2008 the EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices applicable to renovation, repair, and painting contractors. This rule began its full effect on April 22, 2010.
In conversations with multiple contractors which this rule is applicable and with the increased knowledge obtained through training I have come to understand the draconian implications this rule will have on everybody who owns, rents, or uses pre-1978 property.
Compliance to the new rules will increase the cost to any property owner of pre-1978 structures with few exceptions. While it is important to protect children and others from unintended exposure to lead the rules established have little to do with practical protection and instead create an insurmountable cost, meaning that if property owners wish to remain in compliance their only practical option is to let the property deteriorate instead of investing in its maintenance.
Why would I come to this conclusion? Here are a few significant pieces of information.
- Lead testing on most pre-1978 buildings would be required before almost any renovation, repair, or painting could occur. In California, due to acceptable test kits, this is estimated to be $400.00-$1,200.00 depending on the property.
- If the property is not found to be lead free then extraordinary precautions must be used by the contractor when working. These are extremely expensive procedures and can add thousands of dollars in cost even on the simplest work, such as painting a bedroom. See http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/samplechecklist.pdf for a sample checklist of things that must be considered.
- Your contractor must pay training & certification fees to approved parties and the EPA for the "privilege" of working on your property.
- Failure to use certified personnel can lead to a fine of $32,500.
- Lacking enforcement personnel the EPA is urging certified individuals to turn in non-certified persons in their training programs. So if you use an uncertified party you may be subjected to fines plus the cost of lead abatement procedures. If you try to use certified persons you could face thousands of dollars of extra cost.
Full information on the rule can be found at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm
The end result is damage to property owners, damage to contractors, and damage to residents of all pre-1978 property.
If you live, work, or own any of the affected properties you are severely affected, if you don't you will still be affected as your contractors will still bear the increased costs of these requirements. For contractors this will prove to be unsustainable and cost jobs and closure of small businesses.
The EPA has made this rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act. I believe this is more harming than healing and needs to be addressed immediately.