Update: This article ran several months ago but we’re running it again because several states have now adopted their own training and certification programs. See the last paragraph of this article for additional information.
Lead Paint Certification
If you’re a contractor that performs renovations and remodeling you’re running out of time to get certified with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the new lead paint laws. I know many of you reading this article are going to rant and rave about this new law (I myself feel the same way) however it’s a reality in the world we live and I’m here to tell you to get over it and get your “house in order”.
Get Your Company Certified
If you are a contractor doing renovations and remodeling than chances are you’ll end up working on homes built prior to 1978 which will trigger the new requirements (you can read more about those requirements here). There are several steps that need to be done in order to get certified prior to working on any project after the April 22, 2010 law takes effect.
Your company will need to fill out the EPA’s application for Certification to Conduct Lead-Based
Paint Activities and Renovations. The application is fairly straight forward and it requires a check for $300. Firms must re-certify themselves every 5 years for the renovations certification.
The number of certified personnel on a job site depends quite a bit on the size of job, complexity of the job and certain state and federal laws specific to that job. In any case there must be at least one person on site with an RRP (renovations, repairs and painting) certification from an approved 8 hour course. It’s probably a very good idea to get several people in your organization certified including estimators, foreman and even owners. The EPA has a training provider link that can help you find a trainer in your area.
Why It’s Important To Get Certified Sooner Than Later
You might be wondering what benefit it is to send your $300 into the EPA if business is slow. The reality is you’ll be doing work on a home built prior to 1978 at some point so you might as well get this over with. Also, with any type of Government Agency, it’s always best to show good faith and intent early on.
If you get a job and you’re not certified, you’ll be risking working without it or even worse losing the job because you can’t start it. It’s always much easier to fight a violation if you’ve shown good faith in following the program than it is if you’re applying for your certification after a violation!
Don’t shoot the messenger here folks. We live and work in different times and lead paint is certainly a hazard. This may or may not be the best approach but it’s the law now and we all need to work through it. Just remember that paying up front now is most certainly cheaper than getting busted and paying fines! So go out and get your EPA Lead Certification.
NOTE: Contractors and training providers working in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Rhode Island, Utah, Oregon and Massachusetts must contact the state to find out more about its training and certification requirements. These states are authorized to administer their own RRP programs in lieu of the federal program.