Starting today, renovations which could disturb lead-based paint in older homes must comply with new lead-based paint mitigation rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Under the newly implemented rules, renovators working on homes built before 1978 must be trained and EPA-certified to perform safe work practices to prevent lead contamination. Additionally, renovators must deliver EPA's lead renovation pamphlet to an occupant within 60 days before a project begins (and, if mailed, at least seven days before a project begins). Renovators must also obtain the occupant's signed acknowledgment of receipt.
The EPA issued this rule in 2008, but delayed implementation until now. The rule generally applies to building contractors, handymen, residential landlords, property managers, and anyone else who is paid to perform renovations or to direct workers to perform renovations as specified. The lead renovation rule does not apply to homeowners renovating the homes they live in. However, sellers of homes built prior to 1978 must still disclose to their buyers any known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards.
Renovation work covered by the lead renovation rule is defined as a modification of an existing structure that disturbs a painted surface, such as surface restoration or surface preparation activity. Excluded are minor repair and maintenance activities that disrupt up to 6 square feet of interior painted surface or 20 square feet of exterior painted surface. Demolitions and window replacements, however, are not considered minor repairs.
For more information, visit the EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/toolkits.htm