EPA Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule

On April 22, 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under the authority of §402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that addresses lead-based paint hazards created by renovation, repair and painting activities.  Specifically, the rule requires contractors and other persons who perform renovations for compensation that disturb paint in target housing or child-occupied facilities constructed before 1978 to receive certified training in work practices designed to prevent lead contamination.  Additionally, there is an education component to inform those who may be affected by the renovation. 

Any person, company or firm that performs renovations for compensation that disturb paint in pre-1978 target housing must comply with the requirements of this rule effective April 22, 2010.

Target housing includes any housing except housing for elderly or disabled persons (unless a child under the age of 6 resides there) or zero-bedroom dwelling units (studios, lofts, single room occupancies, etc.  The EPA may eliminate this latter exemption, however.).  Another exception is if a Certified Inspector or Risk Assessor determines that the components affected by the renovation are free of lead-based paint using the testing protocols found in the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act.

Paint is considered “disturbed” when more than six square feet of interior paint per room or more than 20 square feet of exterior paint is removed, stripped, sanded, etc.  Merely painting over an existing surface does not trigger the rule.  Demolition, regardless of the amount, and window replacement will also trigger the rule.  Jobs performed in the same room within a 30-day period must be considered the same job.

How to Become A Certified Renovator

Effective April 22, 2010, the described renovations must be performed under the direction of individuals certified in the work practice standards identified in the EPA’s rule.  In addition, renovations must be performed by certified renovators or by individuals who have been trained by someone who has received certification.  At properties where any public funds are received – for example a community with Section 8 tenants – it is not sufficient to have the work performed by individuals trained by a certified renovator under the direction of a certified renovator.  Rather, every person performing renovations must be certified and supervised by a certified renovator, and this is true even if the work is not being performed within the unit occupied by the tenant receiving assistance.

To become a certified renovator, an individual must complete a training seminar eight hours in length and taught by an EPA accredited training provider.  The seminar covers eight training modules and includes two hours of hands-on training.  Every five years, a four-hour “refresher” training seminar must be completed.

If a property owner or his or her employee(s) become certified, it is necessary that the owner or management company then apply to become a “certified renovation firm”.  For example, if a property management company’s maintenance personnel have become certified, the management company must then submit documentation of their employees’ training along with the application to the EPA to become a certified renovation firm.  The application fee is $300, and must be renewed every five years at the same cost.  Individual owners who receive the certification must also apply to become a certified renovation firm.

The SDCAA has partnered with National Econ Corporation, an EPA accredited training provider, to offer the certification course to its members.  It is recommended that individuals and groups register for training quickly, as it is expected that the EPA will be backlogged with applications for certification.

Click here to register for an SDCAA seminar or call or e-mail SDCAA Education Coordinator Veronica Alonso today for more information at (858) 751-2219 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

How to Comply with the Education Requirements
In addition to the work practice standards training, renovation contractors and firms must take certain steps to educate affected individuals about the hazards associated with exposure to lead paint.

No more than 60 days prior to beginning renovations, certified renovation firms must distribute to affected tenants the EPA’s Renovate Right pamphlet (this is different from the Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet that is required to be distributed at the inception of tenancy).  Firms must also retain written confirmation that the pamphlet was distributed.  Copies of the pamphlet are available for purchase from the SDCAA Bookstore or members may download copies by clicking here .

For renovations performed in common areas, a certified renovation firm must provide notification in writing to tenants of each affected unit and make the Renovate Right pamphlet available upon request prior to beginning any renovations.  While the renovation is ongoing, the certified firm must post informational signs describing the general nature and locations of the renovation and anticipated completion date.  Signs must be accompanies by a posted copy of the pamphlet or information about how to obtain a free pamphlet.

Because the RRP Rule applies to child-occupied facilities as well, if a tenant operates a daycare out of his or her rented unit, it is the certified renovation firm and not the tenant that is responsible for providing general information about the renovation and making the pamphlet available to the guardians of any children under the age of 6 who use the daycare.

Certified renovation firms are required to maintain documentation of compliance with these education requirements for a period of three years.
What About Emergencies?
If renovations are necessary due to a public health or safety hazard or an event that threatens equipment or property with significant damage, those renovations are exempt from the information distribution, warning signs, containment, waste handling, and training and certification requirements.

What About the City of San Diego’s Lead Hazard Ordinance?
The City of San Diego’s Lead Hazard Prevention and Control Ordinance, which was approved by the city council on March 11, 2008, contains its own set of Lead Safe Work Practices and tenant notification that must be used on renovations of any pre-1979 residential buildings.  Some of these practices are in addition to what is required under the EPA’s RRP Rule, and should be duly considered.  The SDCAA’s accredited training provider will be addressing these issues during the certification seminar.

•    Renovate Right pamphlet
•    EPA sample renovation disclosure notice
•    EPA application for firm certification
•    EPA training and application fee schedule
•    EPA sample record keeping checklist
•    EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide
•    EPA Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair and Painting

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