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According to the EPA: “Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead, dust, and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.” Just in case you were stuck in the stone age, the EPA thought we needed to be reminded of this fact.

 

EPA:
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To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, “contractors performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.”

After April 22, 2010, property owners who perform these projects in pre-1978 rental housing or space rented by child-care facilities must be certified and follow the lead-safe work practices required by EPA's Renovation, Repair and Remodeling rule. To become certified, property owners must submit an application for firm certification and fee payment to the EPA. The EPA began processing applications on October 22, 2009. Afterwards, the agency will have up to 90 days after receiving a complete request for certification to approve or disapprove the application.

Property owners who perform renovation, repairs, and painting jobs in rental property should also:

  • Take training to learn how to perform lead-safe work practices.
  • Learn the lead laws that apply to you regarding certification and lead-safe work practices that began April 2010.
  • Keep records to demonstrate that you and your workers have been trained in lead-safe work practices and that you followed lead-safe work practices on the job. To make recordkeeping easier, you may use the sample recordkeeping checklist that EPA has developed to help contractors comply with the renovation recordkeeping requirements that will take effect in April 2010.
  • Read about how to comply with the EPA's rule in the “EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right.”
  • Read about how to use lead-safe work practices in EPA's “Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair and Painting.”

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As with any good rule imposed by the government, there is always an exemption and I bet you can guess what it is… owner occupants who do their own work. Here’s the sad part about this exemption: 95% of all cases of lead poisoning in the state of Minnesota, according to a close friend who works for the state of Minnesota as a lead poisoning investigator, are caused by homeowners who do their own renovation work. Not from licensed contractors and professional rehabbers that these new rules are directly aimed at.

So this feel good law exempts the very group of people who are actually the source of the problem. Does anyone else see a problem with this as well?

But let’s get to the crux of the matter. This isn’t about lead poisoning or safety for that matter, this is really all about money, as everything with the government is these days. It’s about Taxes stupid. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

  Quotaion Mark A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. ~ Unknown Author

In this case, the people who are doing a good job have to pay a tax and the people who are doing wrong get a pass, they don’t have to go to jail and they even get to collect their $200 for passing go. Does that sound fair to you, me neither.

How Will a Renovator Become Certified?
To become a certified renovator an individual must successfully complete an eight-hour initial renovator training course offered by an accredited training provider (training providers are accredited by EPA, or by an authorized state or tribal program). The course completion certificate serves as proof of certification. Training providers can apply for accreditation for renovator and dust sampling technician training beginning in April 2009. Once accredited, trainers can begin to provide certification training.

The bottom line is that the EPA does not have the capacity to follow up and regulate these new rules on the street. That is why they are pressuring the states to adopt similar or stronger regulations of their own so that the EPA can wash their hands of the regulation and enforcement of their own rules. According to my resources here in Minnesota, the state is currently writing their rules to be compatible with the EPA’s and there for the states will have the authority to regulate the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rules.

Resources:

http://www.mikejacka.com/post/2010/01/29/Real-Estate-Investors-Need-To-Start-With-Back-Page-An-Online-Classified-Site-Primer.aspx Are you certified yet? Are you a certified tester for the EPA. Let us know your thoughts and concerns with this new EPA rule.


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