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Update on federal lead-based paint renovation, repair and painting rule

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

On June 18, 2010, the EPA extended the deadline for workers to sign up for lead safety training and certification classes under the EPA’s lead-based RRP rule until September 30, 2010. Training must be completed by December 31, 2010.

By Wendy R. Wilson, TAA General Counsel

By now, apartment owners and management companies should be familiar with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) lead-based paint renovation, repair and painting (RRP) rule, which took effect in April. Part of the EPA RRP rule requires that, beginning April 22, 2010, all renovations and repairs covered by this rule must be performed by certified renovators or individuals training to be certified (working under the supervision of a certified renovator). However, the EPA made a recent announcement that extends the time for workers and companies to obtain training and certification.

On June 18, 2010, the EPA extended the deadline for workers to sign up for lead safety training and certification classes until September 30, 2010. Training must be completed by December 31, 2010. The extension of the deadline was the result of difficulties that many workers and companies had in obtaining the EPA-required training.

Although the industry had previously urged the EPA to delay enforcement of the RRP, this extension of time does not delay the enforcement of the lead safety work practice requirements.

As a reminder, the RRP rule requires that certain renovation and repair activities involving housing with lead-based paint (pre-1978 properties) be performed by workers who have received a least one day of training in an EPA-approved training course and become certified. If maintenance staff is working under the supervision of a certified renovator who provides on-the-job training (i.e. lead safety work practices), then he or she may engage in renovation activities without certification. Certified workers are required to take a four-hour refresher course every five years.

As for property owners and third-party management companies, the EPA RRP rules also require that these companies become EPA accredited. This means that owners and/or third-party management companies that own or manage properties governed by the RRP rules must complete an application and pay a $300 fee to become accredited. Accreditation must be renewed every five years.

This requirement was to be completed by April 22, 2010; however, the recent EPA has also extended the deadline to comply with the accreditation requirement until October 1, 2010, though the lead safety work practice rules will be in effect.

Also, effective July 6, the RRP rule was amended requiring renovation firms and workers to provide owners and occupants a copy of records demonstrating compliance with lead training and work safety practice requirements. If laboratory analysis of dust wipes are used instead of the simple “swiffer” cleaning verification test, the lab results must also be provided to owners and occupants.

The lead-based RRP rule requires owners of market-rate properties built before 1978 to follow specific lead safety requirements when undertaking renovation or repair that disturbs more than six square feet of interior surface area or 20 square feet of exterior surface area. For pre-1978 properties that receive federal assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, the RRP rules expand the existing HUD Lead Safe Housing rules, which are similar but not identical to the EPA requirements.

For additional information, review recent TAA articles at www.taa.org and the recently updated NAA/NMHC white paper, which provides an in-depth analysis of property owners’ compliance obligations under the RRP, available online at www.naahq.org.

Reprint from the Texas Apartment Assn.

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