Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Evaluation Program: Firm Certification
If you are an abatement or evaluation firm, then we recommend you read through all of the subjects below to learn how to fulfill your legal requirements to protect yourself, your employees and your clients from the dangers of lead exposure.
EPA's lead-based paint abatement and evaluation rule requires both firms and individuals to be certified. This section provides information about firm certification, where EPA is responsible for the abatement program, as well as how to apply and what fees are required.
On this page:
- Determine if you apply to EPA or your state, tribe or territory
- Abatement rule requires firm certification
- When should recertification applications be submitted?
- If my information changes, do I have to amend my application?
- Notification requirements
- Have a question?
On another page:
Determine if You Apply to EPA or Your State, Tribe or Territory
EPA's abatement and evaluation program applies to all states, tribes and territories where EPA has not specifically provided authorization for that state, tribe or territory to operate the program themselves. Therefore, if you do work in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota or Wyoming, then apply for EPA firm certification.
Contractors working in states not listed above should follow the link provided here for the state or tribe for more information about their training and certification requirements. These states are authorized to administer their own abatement and evaluation programs in lieu of the federal program. Note that if you work in more than one state, you may need both EPA and state certification.
Abatement Rule Requires Firm Certification
Federal law requires all abatement and evaluation firms (including sole proprietorships) working in housing, or facilities where children are routinely present, built before 1978, to be certified. Firm certification is a key requirement to ensure individual certification and the use of required work practices. Firms must apply to EPA for certification to perform abatement or evaluation.
To apply, a firm must submit a completed application and fee to EPA online.
- All applications, payments, updates and certificate replacement requests are done online (payment methods include credit card, debit card, or electronic check).
- EPA abatement firm certifications are good for three years.
- When applying for recertification, your new certification begins when your old one expires. You’re not penalized for applying early.
- Application processing takes a week or two. Once complete, your approval will be delivered by email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add the email address email@example.com to your contacts to ensure delivery of the approval in your inbox.
- Your certificate is also sent to your CDX inbox, so if you don’t see the approval in your email check there. Just keep in mind it may take a week or two for the application to be approved.
- View frequent questions about applying for firm certification.
When Should Recertification Applications Be Submitted?
- You must apply for a re-certification at least 90 days before the firm's current certification expires.
- If a complete application, including the proper fee, is submitted 90 days or more before the date the firm's current certification expires, the application will be considered timely and sufficient.
- In that case, the firm's existing certification will remain in effect until its expiration date or until EPA has made a final decision to approve the re-certification application, or not, whichever occurs later.
- The expiration date for the firm's re-certification will be 3 years from the date the existing certification expired, regardless of when the re-certification is approved.
- However, in cases where a complete application is submitted less than 90 days before the date the current certification expires, if EPA does not approve the re-certification application before the existing application expires, then the firm's certification expires.
- In this case, the recertification application will be regarded as a new certification and the expiration date will be three years from when this new certification is issued.
- The firm will not be able to conduct abatement or evaluations until EPA approves this new certification application.
- Similarly, if the firm submits an incomplete application for re-certification and EPA does not receive all of the required information and fees before the date the firm's current certification expires, or if the firm does not submit its application until after its certification expired, then EPA will not approve the firm's re-certification application.
- Again, the recertification application will be regarded as a new certification, and the expiration date will be 3 years from when this new certification is issued.
- The firm will not be able to conduct renovations until EPA approves this new certification application.
- If EPA does not approve the application, then the Agency will provide the applicant with the reasons for not approving the re-certification application. Any fees submitted by the applicant will not be refunded, but the firm can submit a new application for certification, along with the correct amount of fees, at any time.
If My Information Changes, Do I Have to Amend my Application?
A firm must amend its certification within 90 days of a change to information included in its most recent application. Examples of amendments include a change in the firm's name without transfer of ownership, or a change of address or other contact information. If a firm fails to amend its certification within 90 days of the date the change occurs, then it will not be authorized to perform abatement or evaluations until its certification has been amended.
Amending a certification will not affect the validity of the existing certification or extend the certification expiration date. EPA will issue the firm a new certificate if necessary to reflect information included in the amendment. Firm certifications are not transferable. If the firm is sold, then the new owner must submit a new initial application for certification.
When do I have to notify EPA about abatement activities?
A certified firm must notify EPA at least 5 business days prior to conducting lead-based paint abatement activities, with one exception. When abatement activities are required in response to either an Elevated Blood Lead Level determination or emergency abatement order, notice must be provided no later than the day abatement activities begin.
In addition, the firm must notify EPA of any of the following changes to the original notice:
- If the abatement activity will begin before the original start date, or if the location changes, then notice must be provided at least 5 business days before the start date.
- If the abatement activity is delayed, then notice of the new start date must be provided to EPA on or before the original start date.
- For cancellation or other changes, notice must be provided on or before the start date, or, if work has already begun, within 24 hours of the change.
What is required in each abatement notification?
- Notification type (original, updated, cancelation);
- Date when abatement activities will start;
- Date when abatement activities are expected to end;
- Firm's name, EPA certification number, address, phone number;
- Type of building;
- Property name (if applicable);
- Property address, including apartment or unit number;
- Documentation showing evidence of an elevated blood lead level (EBLL) determination or a copy of the Federal/State/Tribal/Local emergency abatement order (if applicable);
- Name and EPA certification number of the project supervisor;
- Approximate square footage/acreage to be abated;
- Brief description of the abatement activities being performed; and
- Name, title, and signature of the representative of the certified firm who prepared the notification.
How are these notifications submitted?
Notice can be submitted in any of the following ways:
- Electronically using the Agency's Central Data Exchange (CDX). If you are not already using CDX, then you will need to register first.
- By fax to (202) 566-0471
- By mail to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, LBP Notification, P.O. Box 14417, Washington, DC 20044-4417
- By commercial or hand delivery to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, LBP Notification, 1201 Constitution Avenue, NW [EPA East 5115M], Washington, DC 20460
Are there sample forms that I can use?
Yes, a sample form is available to facilitate the notification process. This form is fillable and can be completed on your computer or printed and completed by hand. Other forms are also acceptable if all of the required information is included.
- Pre-abatement notification (PDF) (1 pg, 546 KB)