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Environment Matters Podcast

Environment Matters
EPA Region 3
Topic: Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP) for Contractors
Size: 9,728k
Time: 04:08

Date: March 26 , 2010 

Lena Kim:  Hi, I'm Lena Kim from EPA's Mid-Atlantic region and this is Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts.  I'm here today with Demian Ellis.  EPA's regional lead coordinator who's here with an important message for contractors about a lead rule coming up April 22, 2010.  Demian, can you tell me the basis of this new rule?

Demian:  Well, the rule applies to renovation work that is perform in either pre-1978 housing or facilities where young children spend a good portion of time like daycare centers and it requires renovation contractors to notify the owners and occupants about the potential hazards associated with the renovation work, also requires them to be trained and certified and then follow lead safe work practices.

Lena:  Who will need to be certified?

Demian:  Any contractor who is performing work that disturbs lead base paint or painting services in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities such as a daycare centers would need to be certified.  Examples of that might include painters, drywallers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, restoration contractors, contractors that are doing window replacements or weatherizations.  If any of those contractors disturbs painted surfaces then they would potentially need to be certified.

Lena:  It sounds like if you're doing any sort of contractor work is a good move to get certified?

Demian:  Absolutely.

Lena:  Demian, what is certification entail?

Demian:  Well, it's two folds; one, a renovation firm would submit an application and a fee to EPA, a fee of $300, and then that will go through a review process and then they will be issued a certification but the individual renovator also has to be certified through the training that they take, they take an eight hour training course, and once they complete that course they will be certified as a renovator.

Lena:  Where would one go to take this course?

Demian:  Well, there are a number of different locations that are accredited to offer this training.  Our training providers that are accredited on EPA's website.

Lena:  Can you go to that website with us?

Demian:  Sure, it's www.epa.gov/lead and follow the links to renovations and you will be able to locate a renovation training provider.

Lena:  What happens if somebody conducts a renovation after the rule goes into effect and hasn't had the certification?

Demian:  Well, they face the potential for crimes tens of thousands dollars, perhaps even more.

Lena:  Who benefits from these renovations?  Why is this now in effect?

Demian:  It's in effect because lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat to young children in the United States, children under 6 years of age and this rule is important because it will address health hazards that are created as a result of exposure to lead based paint. So, it's important for young children to check their health.  We want to make sure that the firms and renovators are properly certified and insured lead safe work practices are followed.  As far as families, we would recommend that they don't undergo the renovations unless they know what they're doing because renovations in older homes do create lead hazards.  Unless you're properly, unless you're able to properly set up the area then we would recommend that they have a professional perform the renovations. 

Lena:  Listeners can visit our website at www.epa.gov/lead and thank you Demian for sharing this important information about EPA's new lead renovation, repair and painting rule and thank you all for listening to Environment Matters.

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