New Lead Paint Laws Effective April 22, 2010

By Todd Fratzel on Remodeling

New EPA Lead Paint Laws Effect Remodeling Projects

Lead Paint RemovalThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has new lead paint laws going into affect on April 22, 2010. The new lead paint laws require any renovation work performed on houses built before 1978 to be performed by a certified contractor. Obviously his new law is causing some serious moans and groans from both home owners and contractors. Contractors will be required to provide home owners the Renovate Right Brochure which contains useful information about the new law.

Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Law

The new lead paint laws that goes into affect on April 22 involves training and certification of remodelers, safe work-site practices, verification and record keeping. It’s very important to understand that the new law pertains to projects on any house built before 1978 with a few exceptions as follows:

  • The home or child occupied facility was built after 1978.
  • The repairs are minor, with interior work disturbing less than six sq. ft. or exteriors disturbing less than 20 sq. ft.
  • The homeowner may also opt out by signing a waiver if there are no children under age six frequently visiting the property, no one in the home is pregnant, or the property is not a child-occupied facility. This is no longer true. The EPA just removed this waiver. (Ref).
  • If the house or components test lead free by a Certified Risk Assessor, Lead Inspector, or Certified Renovator.

What Does The New Law Mean To You?

You’re probably wondering what this new law might mean to you and your next remodeling project. The obvious answer is a healthier home for you, your family and people that perform renovations to your  home. The other obvious answer is an increased cost for contractors to adhere to the new rules which ultimately means an increased cost to you.

Over the last few months I’ve heard several small contractors say they will steer clear of and avoid older home renovations. A significant amount of small replacement window contractors will most likely go out of business and stop providing inexpensive window replacement services. While we think the new law is important in protecting public safety we also know it will result in much higher prices for consumers and less competition for consumers.

If you hire a contractor to do a renovation in your home that was built prior to 1978 be sure you hire a certified contractor. You should ask to see your contractors RRP certification prior to hiring them. Contractors performing work without the certification face penalties of $37,500 per day!

New Law Will Take Time To Work Effectively

With over 38 million homes containing lead paint in the US no one can argue the importance of good lead paint laws. However, from the few meetings and conversations I’ve had it’s clear to me that this is going to take some time before it’s very effective. Most of the literature and training has left contractors confused, upset and frustrated. However, with time these new laws will become part of everyday routines for contractors and ultimately help save lives. We certainly hope the EPA works quickly to fill in the blanks and help contractors implement this new law.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Nina says:

    Where do you get the waiver? I am stripping my entire house. I have no kids or pregnant women in my house.

    • Todd says:

      Nina – If you follow the link to the Renovate Right Brochure there is a phone number in there for information about removing lead if you’re the home owner or DIY’er.

      • paul says:

        tod i am a hvac contracter i have to cut 4 10inc by 10 inc holes in an old house doe this apply to me

        • Todd says:

          Paul – You really should read the information on the EPA site and also your state site. There are some exceptions for “small areas”. Some of those include areas less than 10 sf, but that number varies.

  2. Deborah says:

    I have to say this irks me. Nearly everyone is now aware of the dangers of lead based paints and using dust masks and methods to keep the dust levels at a minimum. Doesn’t our government regulate enough in our lives.

    • Todd says:

      Deborah – I agree that the government is creating far too many rules. On the other hand, there are quite a few shady contractors out there doing things that put kids in jeopardy.

      • Doe says:

        I have no kids in my house. And even thought it was constructed in 1974 I also know for a fact that there is no lead based paint. Not fair I should have to pay a penalty for any menial job I need performed in my home!!!

        • Mark says:

          Doe if you are certain than contact a testing firm and pay them to confirm your knowledge. If at a future date you desire to sell your home that certificate is worth it’s weight in gold. The future contractors won’t have to perform under the EPA RRP rules which will save you money in the long run and preserve your selling price in the future.

  3. BIll says:

    So doi have a clear understanding of this to the exceptions rule:
    I can have the customer sign a waiver if only one of the exeptions are presetn or do all 4 of them have to be present. I have a customer that wants me to remodel there entire kitchen and the home is from 57′.

    • Todd says:

      Bill – The information reads “The homeowner may also opt out by signing a waiver if there are no children under age six frequently visiting the property, no one in the home is pregnant, or the property is not a child-occupied facility.” I would assume that sentence explains the exception pretty clearly. I hope that helps.

      • Doe says:

        Hmm .. interesting?? About to have a new vanity top and toilet installed. Will make sure I ask them about this waiver.

      • jbuilt says:

        what is the consequences if you do not test? if you do not test that leaves the homeowner with plausible deniability in the future if they wish to sell. not the most honest but not all people are. i do not wish to cause harm or foul but i do wish to stay in business.

  4. Dave says:

    I love the $37,500 fine per day! now the government has just one more way to rob Americans. I think its unfair to attack the contractors in this economy, they are the ones that feel this recession more than anyone else. the government has its hands in everything now, how much bigger can it get. Im going to tell you that the government doesnt care about kids or your pregnant wife. They just wants your $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Now its another license you have to buy, Pay UP, cought without one, Pay More. Where does it end. The government is not known for giving us freedoms, every day a new law is passed, that means one thing you were allowed to do yesterday is stripped from you today. It was a much easier time just 10 years ago.

    • Jerry Vales says:

      Thank your local OBAMA SUPPORTERS….change you can beleive in!

      • Robin Rogers says:

        This has nothing to do with the Obama administration. These rules were supposed to go into effect in 1996, and the EPA delayed them pending further studies.

      • joe says:

        Its the epa not the obama administration get your facts straight

      • Brad says:

        Because you want to work in an unsafe environment where you get toxic levels of lead in your blood? Trying to bury your head in the ground doesn’t make it go away.

        But yes, it does suck that it costs more.

        However, the fine is there to ensure people do the right thing. If it was only a $500 fine, I bet a lot more people would “accidentally” dispose of lead products inproperly.

        • Mike says:

          Do you even know what they say about disposal of lead particles? Throw it in land fill. That is what they teach in these classes. The fact that the homeowner can get out there and sand his house down to repaint is not saving the enviorment at all. The prices that us contractors have to charge will force some home owners to do just that. I am all over eco friendly practices but they have to make sense.
          This act made no sense from the beginning to what i believe its end do to Federal Cuts.

      • Cannon says:

        how can you blame Obama when it was written 2 years ago. You need to get some facts before you shoot off at the handle

      • Randy Rosalex says:

        This regulation should have been in place years ago. If contractors informed their clients of the dangers of disrupting lead in the presence of children, it would not have had to have been implemented by the EPA. I do think that if you want to someone to abide by a rule there has to be penalties, and the common thread of the conversations I have heard regarding this regulation is the penalty. It will add to the cost of remodel work, but I would hope that those clients with children appreciate the extra care.

    • Mike says:


      The new Federal Cuts bill will slice this agency down so far it will not be able to function correctly and ultamitly fold two to three years from now. Meanwhile all the contractors that did the right thing and paid out $600 for classes and EPA filing and also the HEPA filter/vacuum at $700 are now out that money with no refund. They will also have there company info which in my mind just wrong. Too much big brother breathing down our necks.
      This coarse should have been implemented slowly for future issues
      in Federal employees on the ground. Basically is was a flop, and we pay for it.

  5. Denise says:

    How will this be enforced – will the government form another department and hire people to monitor and police neighborhoods looking for houses that look like they are having work done on them?
    And how many desparate homeowners that are losing their homes will hire someone to remodel just so they can find something that wasnt covered so they can sue? Any responsible contractor keeps dust to a minimum anyway – do you think they like breathing the stuff either?

    • Todd says:

      Denise – I’m right there with you. As a contractor I know how hard it is right now trying to compete and get jobs done at a reasonable rate. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with this new law over the coming years.

    • Mike says:

      They are hiring ex-contractors that know how us contractors think and act. It is smart. They work out of there house, use there own trucks and put a EPA sticker on it. They supply there own tools and submit there time. After the Federal Cuts take effect most of these guys will be out of work again and back in the field this time black balled form construction. They should have thought it through. People and power trips. Live and learn is what i say.

      • Yogu Gurl says:

        Mike you have a lot of info. Please tell us how you know this! Interesting the ins and outs of the industry.

  6. Laura says:

    The window dealer I work for already is certified. In training the installers learned the opt out is going to be removed so everyone will have to be do it correctly. We will be charging $20 for a window and $75 for a patio door extra if the house is pre-1978. Not bad considering all the extra labor. Our installers work for us so they are the best. Companies that use subcontractors will have trouble. Companies that recommend contractors will have liablity if the homeowner finds out about the EPA law and feels mislead. Getting the homeowner to sign when giving them the lead pamplet will be a little tricky. Educatiing the homcowner will be the key. Home Depot is sending all their installers and subs. Since we spent the money we feel that others that don’t should be turned in and fined. This will level the playing field. Looks like $5000 per day is the minimum.

    Think about this if you aren’t certified and the homeowner doesn’t like the job you did they now can not only complain to the BBB or contractors board they can turn you in to the EPA. Homeowners don’t get in trouble the contractors do.

    My company is looking forward to getting more work and getting rid of some of the non-licensed installers.

    • Todd says:

      Laura – Glad to hear you’re all getting trained. It will take time to see how all this plays out over the next couple of years. Being a contractor myself I’m having a hard time understanding how you’ll be able to only charge $20 per window. Especially once the insurance companies get done jacking premiums for companies dealing with lead, paying for disposal, paying for testing, etc. Again, I’m not against the concept, however, I’m not convinced that the pricing can be reasonable.

      • Laura says:

        We have done about 5 houses installing windows as if they tested for lead. Practicing the installation process helped us improve the efficiency. Our installers are very good so the extra labor isn’t a big stretch for them. We don’t sub out the work like most window dealers do. We also ordered the test kits, zip walls and plastic in bulk so our cost is very small per window and door. We will be selling the test kits to contractors that buy windows from us and do the installation themselves. Since most of the test kits our sold out already, we feel we can mark them up and make a good profit. We have been preparing for lead for over a year. We think this is going to give us a huge advantage over other window dealers and contractors. Our insurance is not going up because we explained to them the process of the installation.

        • Paul says:

          I think the law is a good thing. With the fines starting at $5,000 a day I think contractors and businesses need to think twice about not getting certified. I think during the first month their will be some high profile fines to show the EPA means business. I am reading the opt out clause might be left in effect until the end of 2010. Homestar would never really work with all the certification. We will charge $35 a window and $85 for a door. We use our own installers the only work for us. One of my old installers works for a few different window comapanies has raised his prices because he is certified. He tells me the companies he works for will be charging over $100 a window and $150 for a door. If a company uses subs their company won’t be on the EPA certification list and that could hurt their business.

      • Mark says:

        Basically the EPA will have 1000’s of spies on the streets. You can bank on the fact that if I see someone working on a home without following the same guidelines I’m expected to follow I will be burning the phone off the wall at our local EPA office and will DEMAND a follow up as to what they did about it. IF they do nothing but a slap on the wrist then I will personally publish a blog about how shady this new procedure really is. I can’t believe they haven’t figure how how many metric tons of plastic we will create and ad to the lanfills, but I guess they figure our grand kids can deal with that right?

      • murraye says:

        That was $20 extra.

    • Mike says:

      and do you know where these lead chips go? Land fill? extra money for what? I am sorry it is a waste of time and money.

      • Todd says:

        Mike – I think you’ve expressed your thoughts pretty well. While I tend to agree with you I also think one or two comments are sufficient.

  7. S. Wesley Mcgranor says:

    I am opposed to this law. If the house isn’t occupied by a pregnant woman, a child under six, and knowledge of paint history — i would think it’s null & void. I am concerened of the non-licensed labor that now has to go threw hoops, to work. I say, find away around it.

  8. linnie says:

    enough is enough we have let the government take to much control already we are the taxpayers we need to stand up and speak out for our rights when is this going to stop if you love you america then we need to get america back this new law was passed on lead paint and the taxpayers had no say in this contact your sentors and let them know its time to let the voters in on things like this we have the right GOD is our commander and cheif we need to live by his commandents

  9. Shelly says:

    Does just the owner/contractor have to get licensed? Or do all of the workers have to get licensed also?

    • Todd says:

      Shelly – From what I understand this is for Contractors who perform services. Don’t quote me but I do not believe this has anything to do with home owners doing their own work. However, the guidelines do make sense for everyone to follow.

      • The requirements are for homeowners as well. You might say to heck with the requirements — if there is no pregnant woman, no children under six, and knowledge of your paint history — allthough The Government assumes regardless. I have wrote my Reps., and i encourage you all to do the same.

  10. Brian says:

    I personally can’t believe the comments of those who just accept this. This is going entirely too far. Are there any property rights left in this country?

  11. Devon says:

    Wait a min… so is this saying that I can’t even PAINT a room in my house without paying a licensed person to do it??

    • Todd says:

      Devon – I’m not sure I agree with the previous comment. So far everything I’ve read indicates these laws apply to “CONTRACTORS”…not home owners…again….don’t quote me on it.

      • Brian says:

        My apologies (though I still stick to my view that property owner rights are getting trampled these days). I allowed myself to get swept up in the moment after reading the earlier comment that this applies to homeowners as well. I have now read the entire ruling (and have incurred the requisite headache!) and it does NOT apply to DIY. Sorry!

  12. Chanel Gomez says:

    Hi there,
    Contractors will definitely want to make sure to protect themselves in their contracts(as much as possible anyways). A litagation attorney suggested making clauses that address the lead law and prove your certifications to the company or homeowner. General contractors may want to have clauses to ensure their subs would be the ones paying for their defense, should any claims be made due to their work on a project.

  13. Justin says:

    So if you’re a re-paint house painter like myself, and you paint a house but you only scrape less than 20 square feet, you don’t need to be certified? That is what it sounds like to me.

    • Todd says:

      Justin – Honestly I can’t tell you the answer to that question but I think you’re on the right path. However, I would caution you that some of the articles I’ve read indicate that the act of cleaning old paint, pressure washing, scraping, wiping down could classify as a disturbance.

      • bryan says:

        i need to know if power washing is disturbing the paint or not! if it is, then we would disturb the paint when we wash our cars.

  14. Teri Sullivan says:

    I think this sounded like a good idea at first, but I think obviously not very well thought out. This will increase the cost to the consumer to the point that they not be able to afford to have anything done to their homes. This then will in turn put many contractors out of business. Do the people that come up with these laws have any idea how much abatement companies charge? It’s rediculous. I really think this one was well intentioned however it will cause the average person to have to either break the law and hope not to get caught or let their homes go.

    • Rita says:

      We are homeowners in this exact position. We bought a house built in 1888 as our family home. The exterior is in desperate need of a paint job. It’s chipping all over the place, but no one will touch it with a ten foot pole. I have three small children. We aren’t moving- can’t. Every time my kids play outside, they’re in danger. But my husband travels all the time, and I can’t repaint a 30 foot house and account for my children. We had one quote at $80,000 and another who said they could do it for half!!! That’s impossible for us! There’s no way. So, the house won’t be painted any time soon. And everyone suffers. We literally have chips flaking off the entire house, but can’t do anything about it. With three children under 6 and a potential pregnancy, we need to address this. If the government want to pull such tight strings, then they need to be providing grants for this. Extensive grants.

      • Emily Nghiem says:

        To Rita: I volunteer with a historic organization in Houston. Since your house may be highly historic in value, can you contact Historic Houston or Greater Houston Preservation Alliance? Maybe you can get advice, help or referrals to someone who can help you. Historic preservationists must face this issue all the time. If you are anywhere near the Heights, the preservation community is well organized there with several organizations you can search online. There is also a lot of historic preservation work in Fort Bend and Galveston County, if you want to ask around for referrals. Please don’t give up, please keep asking around until you find a solution!

      • billy says:

        your house is fine the years are 1978 and back 1988 no lead…………………………

  15. Paul says:

    I think most of you are missing the point 1 MILLION children get lead poisening each year. The lead dust is the major contributor when you do remodeling. Lead causes brain damage.

    Unless your working on your own home you need to be certified. Don’t think your getting away with something if you aren’t. You can be turned in years after you did the work. Let’s say the job is sub par job. Nothing stops the homeowner from turning you in. The homeowner isn’t the one facing huge fines. The EPA doesn’t care. Just saw on the local news that California might do their own enforcement and split the fines with the EPA so they can raise money.

    • Mike says:

      Hey PAul,
      I have been talking to several EPA personel and none of them can answer me the one big question. Where is the evidence that this has become such a big problem. They tell me that no study exist. Can you share the information that indicates 1 million children get lead poisening each year.
      Thank you

  16. Brody says:

    I agree lead paint is bad and everyone needs to be protected!

    My problem is: Who made all the money off selling the lead paint? It was obviosly a faulty product. If I as a contractor, give a bad product, I’m held responsible. Obviosly the controling elite who problably own the majority of the paint manufactories came up with this law. They should pay for any addition cost and labor then pay restitution to the homeowner for exposing them to the toxins. IT SHOULD NOT BE PUTTING SMALL BUSINESSES OUT OF BUSINESS AND COSTING THE HOMEONWERS MORE!

    I gotta love all you who continue to praise all these new laws that continue to strip every single right away we have. Those of you that praise it because it will put some of your competitors out of business, ah that’s greed talking and you have just publicly stated that you really don’t care about those who are barely getting by as long as you make MORE, MORE, MORE MONEY!

    Those that created the paint are getting off the hook and still making money off the new paint being applied but who cares as long you are still making money off it.

    May the scales be removed from your eyes!

    • Todd says:

      Brody – Your sentiment is shared by many. I certainly don’t think these new laws are fair or the best solution. However, I also think the intent is a good one. Hopefully these issues will resolve themselves into something more workable.

  17. Beth says:

    A local window company recently told me that as long as we are in contract before the 22nd, that the new law would not apply, even if the installation takes place after the 22nd. Can anyone confirm whether this is true?

    • Todd says:

      Beth – I’m by no means an expert on the matter. However, if you read the following from the EPA’s site I would suggest your contractor is not correct.

      (ii) On or after April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations without certification from EPA under §745.89 in target housing or child-occupied facilities, unless the renovation qualifies for one of the exceptions identified in §745.82(a) or (c).

  18. Hubcap says:

    The lead police are patrolling already. My girlfriend who lives in an older neighborhood in San Diego just got a citation from the city for having lead paint. She has 60 days to have the paint removed by a certified contractor or face fines and further legal action.
    Apparently the inspectors are cruising the streets looking for peeling paint—not hard to find after the heavy rains we had this winter—and if they find it they test it and if the results are positive, the homeowner gets an order to fix it.

    • Todd says:

      Hubcap – That’s certainly not what this new law is intended for. Was it from some sort of city ordinance? The new law strictly applies to contractors performing work on an existing house.

  19. Hubcap says:

    Todd, we’re trying to find out, but they are pretty tight-lipped about how or why they choose a particular property to cite. This is happening under the auspices of the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department Lead Safe Neighborhood Program.

    It’s a given that most older homes are owned by people on the lower end of the economic scale who simply don’t have thousands of dollars on hand for a quick home improvement project.

    While there is no argument that lead is poisonous–we’ve known that for several centuries and it shouldn’t have been in the paint in the first place–the mandate to immediately remove lead paint from all older homes falls disproportionally on the poor and working class. This requirement will depress the value of older homes, forcing the people who can least afford it into deeper debt, foreclosure, and ultimately out of their homes.

    For now, my girlfriend is living in fear of losing her house. She will have to choose between taking out a second mortgage which she cannot afford or a short sale and essentially walking away after paying into it for almost twenty years.

    And the final insult the city chooses to add to the injury? When the work is complete, the homeowner is required to pay another several hundred dollars for retesting.

    Draconian environmental laws like this can have repercussions that far outweigh the advantages; in this case forcing people to choose between a lead-free home and no home is not good law.

    I agree with the poster upthread that there needs to be some legislation or serious class-action lawsuits to force the paint companies to bear some of this financial burden. This law–which like most–is a screw-the-little-guy giveaway to big business and is doing just that.

    • Todd says:

      Hubcap – Really sorry to hear all this. I’m very curious as to what local law gives the city the power to enforce this issue as it’s clearly not part of the new law that this article discusses. When you find out more would you mind sharing with the readers here? Thanks and best of luck dealing with this burdensome issue.

    • Yogu Gurl says:

      Hi. I am totally environmental myself….to the best of my ability and income but I think the charges are way too much. I am a manager of a small building I was told landlords can be charged $37,500 a DAY for not doing it right.

      Scary, scary stuff.

      I think that is much much too punitive and high. As a result I didn’t tell on a neighbor who was doing it wrong. I didn’t tell because I could never do that to someone. It is simply too high.

      Now if the fine was like $1000 a day…OK, I could tell but not $37,500. Is CA government off their rockers??? Yes.

      It’s financial terror that is what it is.

  20. Mike says:

    Just saw on CNBC Representative Tim Bishop from New York give his opinion on this issue. He indicates that the EPA estimates the avererage cost increase per job of $8-$167.00. Did anyone read this law. This may be the cost to change a window or door but not a job of any size. If you do large renovations that include demolition on 50% or more of a house how is putting 2 or 3 roll offs full of windows, doors, drywall, trim, baseboard, painted cabinets and the list goes on in bags or plastic that have to be vacuumed inside and out, pull all the nails that put holes in the bags, two people to do the carring because the worker inside can’t leave the work space (he may carry dust) has to hand the bag off to someone else to put in the containers. Don’t forget everything has to get wiped down with the hand wipes and vacuumed with the Hepa filter vacuum ($700.00). How do you put plastic 6′ from the exterior of the house when replacing all the windows and painted trim when there are shrubs, trees and so on against the house. I won’t even talk about if a breeze comes along. And the list goes on. If anyone can do this for $167.00. Can I hire you. Legal issues: Now I renovate a house and 5 years later someone in the house gets a illness. I see the laws suits coming. Sorry this comment is so winded but this is titanic setting sail in the renovation industry. Good luck to us renovators.

  21. Matthew says:

    Where do i get the waiver to sign if the homeowner opts out?? Can i creat this waiver or is there a special form?

    • Todd says:

      Matthew – From what I understand the EPA will try to eliminate the waiver process this year. Everything we’ve read indicates that you’ll have to create your own waiver form (contact legal counsel). Unfortunately in the litigious society we live in you’re better off complying then dealing with waivers.

      My hope is the EPA comes to a realization that this new law isn’t very practical, hopefully they will change certain aspects of it in order to make it manageable and cost effective.

  22. Stacy says:

    So bummed…. just got estimate for windows this morning, and i had no idea this was happening. They want to charge $75 for each of the 7 windows i’m doing (which are also all in 1 room!!!) Now I don’t know if I can afford it because it’s $525 more than I expected… and the government thinks they are doing us a favor by “giving us credit on our taxes next year”. WHAT A JOKE!!! why don’t you NOT give us a tax credit and allow us to be able to afford cheaper heating bills this year?!?!?!?!?!

    • Todd says:

      Stacy – That is about how much I figured it would cost. The folks out there saying $10 per window are just crazy. This is a no win situation for the homeowners and contractors. Sorry.

  23. Sunshine says:


    • moonlight says:

      the adminiatrator of the epa is a female.

    • Yogu Gurl says:

      Oh, please. This isn’t about race. In fact, those who support such draconian laws tend to be liberal and punitive and less likely to be a “white male”. Oh brother.

  24. Matt says:

    This is the beginning of the end to home ownership to a lot of people, especially landlords who barly make enough money or even loose money on their rentals. The reason why I say this is because the law will not stop at this. When the cap and trade bill gets passed,( because you cannot stop do gooder rich socialist). This will really hit home, no pun intended. You’ll see in the energy bill that all homes will be required to be brought up to 2010 energy standards in order to sell them, ( I hope you like your house). If your a landlord you will be given a short time to comply, well you cannot do the work yourself any longer, you will be forced to hire a contractor to do the work for you to make your house comply to the new codes. As you have read here contractors will have to charge a lot more for a job. At this point you will see a lot of empty houses and a collapse of the home loan banks due to an increase in forclosers. who can afford to buy a house at $75,000 put $30,000 into compliance and the house is still worth maybe $80,000 and you collect $550 per month rent. Just so your house saves $100 in energy cost per year. Note these figures are for the midwest – things are cheaper here. After finding out about future laws coming our way I’m now selling off my properties while I still can, the rental business is dead. I have done my own work for twenty years, now its to much government red tape, and money.
    I’m done, out of business soon. Thank you for the rant.

    • Barbara Haring says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. This reign of terror is scaring me to death. I live in an older home. Under cap and trade we will most likely not be able to sell our home without a huge amout of renovation. Being built in 1945 and being in Texas, it will never meet the energy qualifications cap and trade will demand. If we could do the work ourselves, we might have something left from the sale. If we have to hire someone, we will see nothing. We planned on selling this house to build on land we inheritied in Kansas. It seems at every turn this new government is destroying dreams.

  25. This is obscene. Does anyone realize how many thousands of tons of plastic will now go straight to the landfill, due entirely to this new “law”? A friend of mine was saying they used 400 square feet of plastic in the “lead certification class” (required for contractors) and the instructor insisted on throwing it all right into the trash after class. It was pristine, clean, and yet – right into the trash.

    The EPA is destroying the earth and that’s just one of many things wrong with this new law.

    The America of my youth is now just a fond (and sad) memory.

  26. Barbara Haring says:

    No one seems to really be thinking about the full ramifications of this law. What about charitable organizations that frequently help remodel older (sometimes much older) homes? They will no longer be able to do this without hiring a lead certified contractor.

    What about my house built in 1945? My husband, who has built homes in the past and used to work as a house painter and knows tons about paint, has repainted all the walls and woodwork in our home with lead-free paint. We are senior citizens with no children living in our home. Oops! I forgot, we have a grandchild on the way who will be living nextdoor. Does this mean we have to hire a lead-certified remodeler to renovate our kitchen – or perhaps forbid our grandchild from entering our home? OMG we need to get someone in Congress – and quickly – to negate the overzealous power of the EPA. We didn’t vote for Obama. This is the change we feared and, as do-it-yourselfers, knew we couldn’t believe in.

  27. Obadiah says:

    Say good bye to owning private property. It will all be siezed.They will call them “fines” but you will lose your home. What little value left in your homes just evaporated thanks to the EPA.
    I don’t believe any of our politicians live in homes older than 1978 so they should be ok.
    At least you are doing your part to save the earth. I hope she doesn’t choke on all that plastic.

  28. Jon Serf says:

    The EPA is out of control.
    This is just plain overkill. Who promoted this, the contractors that stand to benefit monetarily from it.
    So we capture some lead, that’s everywhere in the ground anyway, and contaminate out landfills with millions of bags of plastic.
    DC stands for dummy convention.

  29. Lee says:

    I am stunned that our lawmakers went this far!!! Who are these people? Contractors and homeowners of aged homes are to bare the responsibility of mistakes made by paint companies! I vote class action law suit!! Also Government sidestepping Any responsibility of their own for letting them get away scott free?? I am furios about this issue! Lead is not only in paint, it is in varnish for woodwork also flooring.Whats next? If you walk on your own floor and scuff the varnish will you get fined?? $37500 per step per day? These people (EPA)are so cheap and scummy they didnt have the balls to let the american people Vote on this? So to self satisfy themselves they create this crackpot method of being lead safe when really it wont help that much to rid the lead unless do Full remediations including making up clean rooms that are sealed, negative air pressure, Hepa air scrubbers, tenting houses from neighboring houses, soil sampling and multiple lead sample testing with XRF equipment. Who can afford the high cost of the equipment and or to hire someone that has the good stuff to do it right???
    Now I want to know are the plastic manufactures backing the new law? It would make sense! How about tape companies.
    OK i just have to much to ramble about this so i will stop for now.

  30. Lee says:

    I want to see a national poll on this issue with people knowing all the facts, also how it affects everyday life including their wallets
    Can we also see all the scientific evidense?? You know global warming still has Not been proven and billions of dollars have been spent investigating this!!

  31. Lee says:

    And yes I did spend the $230 bucks for this certification and the $300 to the Gypsies they call the EPA. Thieves!!!!

    Hey OSHA Theres gonna be a whole bunch of people with vacumes attached to their sawzalls, drills and any other power equipment I guess there going to be a lot of missing fingers and veins cut open from unsafe work.

  32. p says:

    This is way beyond any health risk.
    I worked construction for over 40 yrs and never knew anyone that died because they came in contact with lead paint.
    If you made a dinner salad out of the paint you couldn’t get enough lead in you body to kill a microbe.
    Total BS
    It’s all about money in the pockets of the feds nothing else!

    • Lee says:

      You know anothre fact they dont tell you is companies are still putting lead into comercial paint!! like the kind you use for highway stripes, guard rails and tons of other uses.

      Thank you epa for screwing us!

      • David says:

        No one has mentioned all of the lead based paint that we continue to import from China on our children’s toys. Why don’t we stop lead based paint on things we KNOW that children will put in their mouths before we implode small businesses?

  33. elias says:

    usually i work for the home owners and they pay me per day i do paint drywall and texture do i have to ge the certificate even if i dont have a contractor license.

  34. Sue says:

    This is completely ridiculous for all the reasons cited. I built my own home as my own general contractor completed in 1977. I certainly knew about lead in paint and could certify that there is no lead paint in this house I still own. But I would still have to pay the extra to have unneeded procedures followed. I can, also, see problems in the future in selling any house built before 1978 once this is well known. What was the logic in removing the waiver? (We are senior citizens)

  35. Sue says:

    One of the exemptions was: “If the house or components test lead free by a Certified Risk Assessor, Lead Inspector, or Certified Renovator” Does anyone know what this would probably cost?

  36. Steve says:

    Called my congress man……….next will be the senators. I cant get any info from the EPA in my state of MA,I was left with the impression that thay didnt think thay were upholding a new law and certainly couldnt answer any of my questions about getting my hands on any facts to help me continue to possibly make a living as a contractor, Now im searching the internet for info….what if the homeowner does all the demo and the contractor comes in with all the new lead free materials to install them ? Im thinking of rocking the boat…..I sure hope i dont get fined back to the stone ages and lose all I have worked to achieve for the last 28 yrs !!!!!!!

  37. Bill Rathman says:

    I got certified last week. I’m self-employed with no employees in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I’ve been a tree-hugger since before I can remember. I think this regulation is utterly stupid.

    If followed to the letter, it will add a minimum of 50% to exterior painting jobs – more in most cases. Of course, it is impossible to follow it to the letter. Exterior plastic (must be plastic) laid over the ground and plants (soon to be dead) must extend 10 feet plus 4 feet per story or as far as it takes to contain dust. Containment does not need to extend across property lines but must prevent dust from travelling onto neighboring properties. Sounds like a tent. One which will hold up outdoors for a month. Or one which gets rebuilt every day. Most homeowners of old row homes in old cities would have to pay half the value of their home in order to get the flaking & dusting lead paint dealt with.

    It’s counterproductive. A hundred year old row home with flaking paint where I live is worth $20 grand. To prep & paint the exterior would cost $10 grand if I built a stable tent around it. The bloody paint is aleady dusting and flaking and flying. If the owner does nothing – a hunderd pounds (?) of leaded paint floats through the atmosphere. If it is dealt with using ordinary precautions (cloth over plants, daily clean-up but otherwise no precautions for breezes, etc.) perhaps a pound or so escapes containment. Folks around here can barely afford their mortgages.

    The next home I’m painting has a son-of-a-gun-to-paint eave. My best guess is that it has not been painted since the 50’s. Half the paint is gone (uncontained, of course.) Actually, it’s not gone. A lot is laying on the ground and the rest has become low altitude dust. Painting with regulation prep would cost more than the value of the building. It would be cheaper for the owner to demolish it and sell the land parcel. Demolition is not covered under the new regs.

    At the Certified Rennovator training class, a fellow participant said to me, “I feel sorry for the kids.” In context, he meant it is now impossible for a smart able young person to go into the handyman business. You need a ton of start-up money. As us old-timers (sole proprietors) die we will be replaced with corporations. Corp’s have limited accountability. They can fold. I give a 3 to 10 year warranty on all my work. When’s the last time you bought something other than a car with a warranty over 3 months? I guess I could assume death upon encountering warranty/liability obligations in order to price my work competitively with the fly-by-night corp’s, but that’s not an attractive option.

    When I was a kid I thought the EPA was one of the good guys.

    Yes, I’m angry,
    – Bill

    • Todd says:

      Bill – All of us Contractors need to start writing to our representatives and helping to pressure some change. Obviously they will not do away with this law but there’s so much they could do to make it more realistic.

  38. Sam says:

    What if I replace my own windows do I have any responibilities to following this new law? I’m not a contractor just a “do it yourselfer”.

  39. Steve says:

    New day …still pissed.Signed up for my class,ummmm, the building inspector,congressman Neils office nor the Home Builders Ass has called back.Do the rest of you feel alone to? Who do i start calling today…..Brown and Kerry I think. Everyonee needs to call there state reps!!!!!!!!! This will put us out of buisness and mabey our homes.How far is the Federal gov gonna take this if you get caught doing something you shouldnt be having to do in the first place?If we let them come into our homes like this what will be next ? And I cant wait to get my fist job and set up as the EPA states…For me that would amount to a sealed room basicly…..I wonder how my life will be affected having to breath all that dust without being able to open a window.

  40. Tony Smith says:

    We just returned from San Francisco and was wondering about a federal building with massive amounts of flaking old paint and how this may impact children that visit Alcatraz?

    • Todd says:

      Tony – If they do work (renovations, remodeling, etc.) then they too will probably (I’m not sure what standards the Federal Gov’t imposes on itself) need to follow the new law. Remember, this new law only applies to construction work, it has no bearing on whether folks live or work in an old building with lead paint.

  41. john p says:

    Can the homeowner get fined if the contractor is not epa certified?

    • Todd says:

      John – I don’t believe that to be true.

    • Paul says:

      Homeowner can be fined if they hire a non-licensed contractor/handyman. The homeowner becomes the employer when this happens. EPA is not giving warnings. If they hire a licensed contractor then the homeowner will not be fined, only the licensed contractor.

  42. James says:

    For starters I also think this is wrong dureing these times that america is trying to pick our selves up from the economy but what do they care they sit behind a desk all day. But could some one tell me how much its gonna cost to take this class and where I go to take it in kansas city missouri?

  43. James says:

    do I get an answer?

    • Todd says:

      James – The class typically costs about $300. Quite a few window suppliers are offering the classes out here. I would check with vendors or building supply companies near you. Good luck.

  44. BUBBA 123 says:

    Hire Guido with his gas can and matches. Renovation by arson.

  45. Paul says:

    EPA has already started enforcement. Home Depot window installers just got fined. Home Depot thought it was alright to test for lead in California but California does not allow it so every pre-1978 home needs to be treated with lead safe practices. Installer who got caught told me EPA is not messing around.

  46. asa brebner says:

    I didn’t manufacture the paint, But I’m sure I’ve inhaled a lot of it working as a painter for the last 30 years. I know there are some legitimate concerns about lead paint for children but this is all out of control. As we learn how we have poisoned our environment (and we are going to keep learning) the costs always get funneled to the “little guy”.- Pressure treated wood is just on the horizon and what ever products we are using now that have not yet been deemed toxins will be next.
    I’m not targeting the government for my anger- they are just the sock puppets of the corporations who manufacture these products and take very little blame for the problems they cause on the ground level.
    I’m taking the”class” today but have not decided wether or not I’m going to become “certified” until I hear, firsthand, the horrors we will be expected to live up to. I may be out of the business after 5:oo PM
    Does the word “shakedown” have any resonance out there?

  47. deborah Tremblay says:

    This new law will do the following:
    Make people not do home repairs.
    It will make repairs too costly.
    People will not have their property maintained as before.
    It will bring down some neighborhoods.
    Home owners will hesitate added on, replacing windows….
    This is real BIG BROTHER blowing down your neck.

    Back Off Law Makers,how about going after the people that spray their lawns with chemicals, and then the kids and dogs on play on it? Do your research, this is much worse.
    By the way, I sell houses for a living and my husband is a contractor.

  48. joe says:


    • Frank says:

      Joe; I could’nt agree more this law is certanly not going to stimulate the economy.

      It sounds like one of our corrupt poloticians just found a way to create jobs for his buddy’sat the EPA.
      This is what this is all about money.
      (politician’s= mob especially in NJ)

      Instead of petitioning, All contracters should just continue as usuall, screw this law.
      If everybody refuses to this what are they going to do put us all in jail.

      F… em!

      • James says:

        Notice, they don’t want to put you in jail … just take all your money. It shouldn’t take long at $37,500 / day

        Please vote libertarian at next elections. We are the only ones who want to do away w/ this kind of nonsense.

        • Yogu Gurl says:

          I agree the fines are absolutely fascist. I would be okay with a reasonable fine but that much? Horrid. They are abusing their power.

    • Mike says:

      Hello Joe,
      I am a contractor in PA and have posted similar coments on this site. We have started a law suit with our local Home Builders Association to stop this nonsence. We have lost our first battle in court and aour proceeding up the ladder. I think if many different Builders Associations from all over the country start fighting a this battle in thier areas to apply as much pressure as possible.


      • Todd says:

        Mike – Can you keep us posted on your efforts? Also we may be able to publish information about this as you proceed. Let me know if we can be of any help.

    • Stan Beck says:

      I have an innercity paint & hardware store. How did this law get through? What happened to state rights?

  49. joe says:


    • Bruce says:

      Hi Joe you are absolutely right i am a General and Hvac i never heared of the law from the EPA or the California Contractors Board. Iam a home inspector also and a memeber of “ESA” eviromental solutions association, that notifide me by email just this week that the dead line is December 31, 2010 and would like me to attend there class on January 31, 2011, my question Joe is was the dead line extended? I am calling ESA Monday morning to see why the dates are different. Have you heard of a deadline extension, i talked to a general,painter,hvac,carpet contractor yesterday and they no squat too. thanks for your info thanks Bruce.

  50. Tim says:

    I have taken the class. What the EPA is asking us to do is not outrageous, and my business is complying with the new guidelines. but it will generate tons of additional plastic a to the land fils.

    My question is: Is this about being safe with lead based paint debris? A $1000.00 fine would be enough to get most legitimate, licensed and insured contractors to follow the EPA procedures.

    A $37,500 is a guillotine that the EPA is hanging over our necks. At any time, if the EPA decides to thoroughly investigate any contractor, they can put them out of business.

    These new regulations are not about safer homes or a cleaner environment. They are about power to the federal government. Again, a $1000.00 fine would bring about compliance, a $37,500.00 fine would put millions of small businesses across the country out of business. Something stinks here.

    • James says:

      Putting the little guy out of business has been the trend for many decades. It’s much easier to control one large company. It’s also easier to make sure that the people actually doing the work never get paid much for their efforts.

    • John says:

      What is the additional square foot cost to jobs of compling with this regulations?

      • Todd says:

        John – I think that really depends on the type of job and frankly how bad someone wants to deal with all the regulations. I’ve spoken with many contractors that for the time being are going to avoid jobs on houses built prior to 1978. The costs are all over the place and it’s one of those risk vs reward situations where the risk currently seems to far out weight the small profits to be made.

  51. joe says:


  52. joe says:


    • Todd says:

      Joe – Thanks for all your thoughts. I think you’ve done a good job expressing the sentiment of many small contractors and even some larger ones like the guys I work with. I think this rant has been fully exhausted. Thanks.

      • joe says:

        Hi Todd
        This is Joe’s wife…..I don’t think this “rant has been fully exhausted” Are you a construction worker? How would you like putting on a suit in 90 degree weather on a third floor with no ventilation and no fan? Someone could actually die from that!
        Joe has been in this business for 40 years and we have never heard of anyone getting lead poisoning….ever! Who can we write to so that these comments can get to the EPA? Can you help us with that, please.
        Thank You
        Joe’s wife

        • Todd says:

          Joe’s Wife – I’ve spent years in construction in nasty conditions and I can certainly relate. I’m not actually in favor of this new law as I think it’s VERY poorly structured. What I do recommend is starting with your local State Representatives and local building groups. I have no love for the current administration (this law was actually created during the previous administration) but the reality is the EPA has been lobbied heavily by folks that will stand to make money from this new law. If you truly want to help put pressure to reverse this law I think your rants are best sent to State and Federal Representatives in DC. I really wish there was more I could do as the impact to our construction work is significant as well.

          • Pat says:

            Hi Todd,
            I’m a real estate agent in New England. The average home in our area was built in 1900. This new law makes selling a fixer upper difficult. How do you tell a young couple looking to build equity in a home, by doing work themselves, that they now have to hire a certified contractor to do the work? This new law is going to hurt the real estate market, and obviously wasn’t well thought out. I certainly will be in touch with our State & Federal Reps in DC.

          • Todd says:

            Pat – The more people that can speak with their rep’s the better. As far as I know the law doesn’t specifically apply to DIY’ers for what that’s worth. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        • steve says:

          Been a painter for 37 years and ate a lot of lead dust and just got tested for lead from my doctor and i am negative so what does that tell you about this new law, makes me wonder.

        • Winston says:

          Hello Joe’s wife. Listen here’s what you can do about this. Ever hear of the Million Man March on Washington?? Well it appears from what I am hearing that People are changing their strategies when it comes to dealing with corrupt government proceedings. Already in the works, people are planning a march for contractors on their own individual state capitals around the country on July 4th, 2010. Now they are telling everyone who wants to make a difference to make up flyers and hand them out to get the movement started. Apparently they are going to be doing this on a consistent basis on all stupid Laws which are enacted out of greed through special interest. So you can actually do something… Start organizing for your state….

  53. Bob says:

    I keep hearing $300.00 lic. fee. For me the nearest authorized class is 5 hrs. away. So we’re talking 3 days wages , motel , meals , $259.00 for class , $300.00 for lic. plus materials & equip. to comply along with insurance increases & office exp. Now we’re talking more like $3000.00 . Another problem is I live on the boarder with another state that adopted their own regulations . This means I can’t add it to my Federal certification for $35.00. I’ll have to get certified in that state also . The cost per job won’t be $25 to $35 as I’ve read but more likley 10 times that . As this law is now , It will eliminate many small good contractors from competing in the work place and put a financial burden on home owners wanting to do the right thing . So my hats off to the EPA . Congrats.

    • Robert says:

      They say $500 per job average added cost. Think it will make the scabs more valuble to the cheap home owner. Try to power wash an old peeling home; even with containment and then bag it up. your sill payng someone to vaccum the lawn & bushes & dirt… scares me to work on these houses. Even with certification & good intentions we may fail to comply.

      As a small paint & remodle contractor, I’m looking for the diference of being individually lead certified (in Michigan $159. course for just me) & being a lead certified company. Is that sending the feds another $300 bucks???



      • Sal Mangeri says:


        You might as well forget about power washing. I just attended a class. The instructor told us when power washing all the water that flows off the building has to be recaptured then filtered to take out contaminates then disposed of in a hazardous waste facility…….this will cost $1000’s of dollars….and did they actually do studies of the effects of power washing on the soil???…..sad irony here is the home owner at this point is allowed to power wash and do all the things that we can’t do on the job……so the home owner is allowed to poison themselves with lead…..the case studies of the children shown in our class did not indicate if the poisoning was from lead dust or lead chips. I suspect (sorry no proof here) that a majority of the cases are due to children eating paint chips as the lead in paint has a sweet taste……..can we start a National Petition….never mind fighting at the state level if all the contractors from the USA got on board we might be able to stop this law as it currently stands…….


  54. Ann says:

    As a landlord who wanted to do unkeep on my rental property, I can’t afford to make the living conditions more energy efficient for my tenants. I have the knowledge and know to do the project myself and I can’t even do that. Who’s brain storm was this?

    Has anyone out there even thought about the reprocussions of the rental market or about trying to sell an older home. No one in their right mind is even going to consider trying to purchase an older dwelling knowing they can’t afford to remodel.

    It is time to take back our country and fire the entire government who seems to have become a dictatorship. This is a far cry from trying to stimulate the enconomy. How about making the fat cat richer and the middle case broke.

    • James says:

      Actually, you would already be placing yourself in a vulnerable position to do any renovations while you have a tenant living on your property.

      It’s much safer (legally) to “move in” to your house between tenants, and do the work then.

      • Tim says:

        Is it against this law for me to do the work my self and not worry about having it checked for lead? How does this law effect the “do it your self” person. I do a complete clean up every time I have done a job, making sure I get all the paint chips I see, using my shop vac over the hole area. I have to do jobs myself because I work and my wife does not, I do not have the money for the labor, I can buy the materials but the labor gets me. Someday I would like to sell my 1916 house and buy a newer one.

        • Todd says:

          Tim – The law mentioned in this article ONLY pertains to contractors, not DIY home owners.

        • Ed says:

          Hi Tim,

          I love your thoughts here but I must tell you that i have read that your way of life is going to change soon according to what I have been reading. I understand that at this time that the next step of the EPA is to try and inforce these rulles on the D.I.Y homeowner. But I have sat back and thought about this, Our government can’t even get people to pay their taxes, How would they regulate home inprovements?

          Good luck with your projects….

    • blade stone says:

      just bend us over

  55. Concerned Customer says:

    Is there any proof that this new law will protect even one life?

    • JC says:

      I am not saying I am for this law, but the law was based on several studies conducted to detect the lead hazards created during common rennovation activities such as replacing a door, window, or sanding to repaint. The studies showed that the levels of lead dust produced were 10-400 times the amount of lead it takes to poison a child. I work for a health department, and we have several children that come in with elevated blood lead levels and have developmental problems.
      I think this law is poorly written, and will negatively impact our economy.

      • Ed says:

        Hi JC;

        I could not agree with you more. When this law came out it started as a HUD housing rule when the government was helping people to pay their rent in houses where there were sub-par landlords. But has anyone looked into the big picture here such as the miles and miles of lead pipes that are bringing fresh water into these old homes? I do believe that there is something to be said about the lead laws and the protection of the children. But I ask if, it was all about the children why did they take the opt out provision away when there were no children living in the affected property?

        As far as the economy, I can tell you that the closing rate in my company for jobs that have lead related issues is about 5% vs about a 60% close rate on jobs before in old homes? I do hope that the fines that are collected will replace the tax revenue lost from income to small businesses.

        You can’t have it both ways…….

  56. Terry says:

    Ann has me really thinking. As a landlord, with just one property currently, I was just thinking along those lines. I have always done my own work. Can I pass the costs on to the tenants, along with the increases in taxes and insurance? Then I started thinking about my friends in the remodeling business. From there I got to thinking about a house I am selling to a young couple that was built in 1962, and should I make them aware of this change in law. Now I am looking at this from the “why would I enable any of my clients to purchase a house built before 1978?” What is this going to do to the prices of pre 1978 houses? Another knee jerk reaction by our government! Has a very similar tone to want cash for clunkers did to the used car market.

  57. Lieta says:

    Hats off to our government for punishing those who are attempting to do something good by renovating inner city housing. As if we don’t already have enough struggles, now we have this added on.
    I do not see how this benefits anyone, except the government.
    I would like to know how this was enacted and who was responsible.
    I suppose an $11,200 quote to scrape and paint 2 sides of a typical frame Victorian home seems reasonable, unless you are paying the
    bill. This seemingly will triple or quadruple the expense of repainting old frame homes and many good contractors are shying away from it. It is obvious that the government is clueless that higher property taxes, regulations that are not practical, and a waivering real estate market do not create an atmosphere conducive to historic neighborhoods, and those who aspire to live in them.
    We should be offering incentives to renovate older homes, rather than discouraging it.

    • Sal Mangeri says:


      I was recently told in class by the instructor this would raise the price 1 to 5%. They must think we were born yesterday. I also like the comments from the instructor at the start of the class. “No Whining” please and get off your “High Horse” well that’s easy for him to say, as an instructor he is making a handsome profit by the new law. In this economy the home owners are getting at least two and three or more estimates. I would lose money by only a charging a 5% mark up…….I guess we should all go in the plastics and Hepa Vac business……..


      • Ed says:


        Sal you hve hit this right on the head!!! I can’t believe that the governmet is now telling us what it should cost t cover this law. I ambeing told from a friend that works for one of the major retailers that they are only paying $46.00 per opening (window or door). I don’t know where they worked this out from but I can tell you that if you have a two man crew doing a job thatyou are losing money with just the time let alone the materials needed to do the work.

        I guess one way of looking at this, Are you ready??

        these figures come from out government, you know the one we elected to power…..the same ones that a few years ago tried to explain why they paid $700 for a toilet seat in the Pentagon. What do you think?

  58. Tom says:

    I’m an electrical contractor in PA and i’ve never heard such noncense. Thier worried about wrapping a window in plastic when we have 200,000 gallons of oil polluting our ocean. How about when a demolition company tears down a house or even better, dynomites a skyscraper. What are they going to do build a dome around it or maybe they get exempt from the law. Why dont they start worrying about real polluiton but once again they are going after the little guy. This country needs a revolution.

  59. tim says:

    being in the plumbing industry for 26 years, how are we suppose to know how old the house is, sure I am familiar with the areas I work in, but there is always someone who knows how to work the system, its getting to the point where the homeowner will have no one interested in working on their home. Makes me wonder where all this extra money will go, perhaps on a cruise with the rest of the idiots.

    • Todd says:

      Tim – Very good point. I think that issue will be tackled somewhat with permits. Again it’s going to be very hard to tell on some homes.

      • Rob says:

        A simple solution to determining the date of a house or building would be to go to the local community’s tax assessor’s office. The assessor’s records generally include the date when a building was constructed, or failing that, an estimate of the age of the building at the time the current assessment valuation was performed. Since the benchmark is to establish whether or not the building was built prior to 1978, records should be available. Another source would be to ask at the local building inspector’s office to see if a building permit is on file. Dates for when the permit was issued, and dates for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy should be available.

        • Ed says:

          Hi Rob,

          There are much easier ways to check on this then running around to government offices. I use a web site that does not cost anything that is a real eastate selling site. The name of the site is:, all you have to do is put the property info in at the top of the page and it will tell you when the house was built.

          I hope this makes it easier for you in the future.

  60. Joan Myers says:

    What about the home owner or the person that is fixing up a house
    that no one lives in. Do they also need a license? In my opion
    this is a corrupt government takeover of the private lives of the
    middle and lower class. From what I understand that more kids die
    of iron poison then lead poison. This will cause people not to fix
    up old houses, because a contractor will have to raise their prices,
    and the home owner will not be allowed to do their own work on their
    rentals or even their own house. It’s all about more money for the
    greety rich.

  61. bryan says:

    i have a client with an old house that was repainted 5 years ago, now she just wants the dirt washed off. there is no peeling paint. is this feasable to wash off the dirt, by being careful and not lifting paint or is it distrubing ?

    • Todd says:

      Bryan – First off let me qualify my response. I’m NOT a certified Lead Professional so this is only MY opinion, nothing more. Frankly my thought is you’re talking about a maintenance job and not a construction job. I can’t imagine that pressure washing a house (maintenance) would fall under this new law. Good luck!

  62. Bob says:

    Me again. I did find a certification class closer to home , but the cost to comply will still be high . A lot of people seem confused about who needs to be certified . The regulation states that anyone (and I repeat ANYONE ) receiving payment to work on homes older than 1978 must be certified by the EPA . Whether there is lead or not. This includes college & high school students painting houses for extra money in the summer . The burden falls entirely on the shoulders of the contractor . The homeowner can knowingly hire noncertified workers without being penalized . Amazing !! Oh ! We were also informed that the only test kits approved by the EPA don’t work on plaster or drywall . Go figure .

    • Todd says:

      Bob – One thing to point out. Not every person on a crew must be certified in all cases. Some jobs will require that based on funding/contract requirements but many jobs will not. In many cases one or two key personnel will be certified with labors working under them.

  63. Steve says:

    As a plumbing contractor in the Boston area, most homes around here are old. Years ago I read of a gov. study that indicated most of the housing stock in the US was going to need serious repair/renovation due to increased aging. (is there a connection here with this law??) This law makes it difficult for people to afford to maintain their property. For the next few years pricing for small repair jobs will be so contentious with owners that work will be left undone, or given to unlicensed people. Small legitimate contractors are going to go under and the affordability of american dream of home ownership will be diminished because of the cost of maintenance.

    • Todd says:

      Steve – I feel your pain. I’m really hoping that small, specialized contractors will spring up and do just the lead portion of the work. It would be very helpful to be able to use a sub for the identification, testing and removal portions. Frankly I hope enough contractors will call their rep’s and put pressure on Washington to fix the law.

      • blade stone says:

        fix the law .remove it, ya mean and what we should do is vote every 1 of them out of office………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….we the people not we the money

  64. Marty says:


    • Sal Mangeri says:


      My guess is this site was probably started by the EPA. Your computer has an ID# and you have listed your email as well. My guess is your tax dollars are going to pay for some EPA agent to monitor and catalog all the contact information you’ve provided by responding to this site…….then use it to track you down on the job site. I don’t deny this letter sounds a bit cynical but it will give you food for thought.


      • Todd says:

        Sal – This site has NOTHING to do with the EPA. You can actually do a look up of the site. Frankly I have been pretty vocal about my thoughts with this site.

  65. PeterA says:

    I am not clear about the law. Is it a requirement for the firm to become certified by filing an application with the EPA and paying the $300 license fee? Can you just train one employee in your company and be in compliance? What is the benefit of the EPA “company” certification? Does company licensing come with the training? Anyone that can explain this more clearly?

    • Todd says:

      PeterA – There are several “answers” to your question depending on the project. First off any company that does a paid job must in itself be certified with the EPA.

      Once the company is certified you must have some of the crew certified as well. In fact, on certain jobs (like a HUD job), all personnel must be certified.

      Does that make more sense?

  66. Rebecca says:

    I had not even heard of this law!! (I’m a new reader to your blog). This is unconscionable, truly!! I hope the terrible backlash squashes this law, it’s reproachable!

    Under this law, it would be impossible for a homeowner to hire out to renovate the home. This actually encourages new home building, since it would be easier to throw out the expensive old to replace the new. While I am not against new homes, this action would sharply change the structures (and tax bases) of communities around the country. Not to mention that it would put a lot of burden on people that could otherwise aptly take care of themselves without the beneficent hands of Congress butting in.


  67. Dave E. says:


    I just receintly purchased an apartment building built in 1973. Does this mean I have to get certified and have my maintenance people certified? Or, only hire an EPA certified firm to patch and apartment everytime there was a party? Ouch!

    What about notification of new tenants? Do you have to provide a lead statement to them?

    • Todd says:

      Dave – You will have to use certified workers for any work done that disturbs paint. Notification is part of the process in addition to what you already have to do as a landlord.

  68. Charles Hunt says:

    I came across this thread today and read every single entry. I see that Todd is very helpfull in answering all of your questions. I am an EPA RRP trainer and would be glad to answer any other questions that may arise. I understand how everyone feels about this law and it’s inadequite structure and the EPA’s failure to notify you. It seems that most of you are concerned with the extra costs and that is understandable but what we are forgetting is that children are getting sick and the adverse health effects of lead poisoning can be permanent. I agree that some of the regulations have too many “what ifs” and I am asked a million questions at every class.

    It is my hope, that when homes are bought and sold, it will be required to test for lead using XRF or sampling. When you buy a home an inspector tests for Radon gas, they look at your heating system, foundation and roof etc. Why can’t they do the same for lead? Then we would have “leaded” homes and “unleaded” homes. Only “EPA Certified Renovators with their non certified (but trained) workers would be able to renovate, repair or paint those “leaded” homes. Any contractor would be allowed to work on the “unleaded” houses. Unfortunately this is only an idea of a few trainers like myself who have thought long and hard about the rules and work practices. The EPA has not addressed this idea.
    As Winston stated above about a July 4th march on washington or your local government/sate office, I think it is a great idea. I would march right along side of you guys, but I would be marching for reform.

    • Todd says:

      Charles – Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation. Feel free to respond to any of the previous questions. The more answers the better! Thanks.

  69. Jim says:

    I am a landlord that just finished the RRP course for certification. The class room was filled with other landlords as we learned that lawyers in our local area are preparing to go after us because the new law makes it much easier to sue and collect big time. This law is a catastrophy.

    This sounds incredible but is a true story: I learned of a woman,years ago, who deliberately poisoned her small child in order to sue the landlord and collect a huge settlement. The suit was lost because a neighbor came forward and testified that the mother was bragging to her how she poisoned the child in order to collect. I understand this new law makes it easy to sue. Can you imagine what would happen if others got this horrible idea. Everyone in the room wanted to sell their properties.

    Vote these lawmakers out, and repeal this law.

  70. Mike says:

    I really don’t get it. I’d like to know…

    1. Data and scientific evidence supporting the urgency of this new law.

    2. Why is the fine so high? Why $37K per incident, per day? Who came up with this number? Why not $1,000 or warnings first. The same way they enforce Tabacco sales to minors. By the way…. could smoking and drinking be more harmful?

    3. How is this going to impact realestate sales of properties affected. Maybe drive the prices even lower? Cost to own and remodel higher?

    4. Keep contractors and rental property owner in fear of being shut down at anytime. Lets hurt the little guys?

    5. Encouraging weekend behind closed doors remodels as well as backstabbers.

    I agree that lead paint is harmful and should be regulated but NOT like this. Not by hurting the very heart and soul of the country. This makes it harder for lil’ guys to dream big. How do you compete or comply when you can’t afford it?

    The question is…. why is this law a priority NOW ? … when there are other more pressing environmental challenges right in front of us.

    • Sal Mangeri says:


      Great questions

      I learned in the contractor’s class that the dangers of lead have been known for over 90 years. His comment also was “why did it take the government so long to take action” in reference to removing lead from paint. The reason we were told behind the new regulations is “it’s all about keeping children safe”….well I throw that question out again….you’ve known about the dangers of lead for almost 100 years and yet continued to let it be a main ingredient in paint. Why are you suddenly taking action now when the issue of putting lead in paint was untouched for so many years…….


  71. Mickey says:

    Don’t blame Congress. Our government has three branhes–judicial, legislative (congress), and executive. The EPA is part of the executive branch. The current topic of discussion goes back to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 which, in essence, gives the EPA authority to issue rules regarding toxic substances. The current law is just another addition to the TSCA. Make your senators and representatives your friend and provide them with facts. I work with a small construction company and have researched this issue. On July 1 we held a meeting to which we invited representatives from local congressional office (both state and federal), news media, bankers, contractors, etc. We presented them with the facts beginning with the TSCA up to and including the currently proposed TSCA reform bills being discussed in both houses of congress. We also included statistics about the incidence of elevated blood lead levels in children under age 6. In the period for 1997-2007 the percent of children in the study declined from 7.61% to 1.0% BEFORE the current rules were released. We must have been doing something right before.

    How much lead these children (and others) are getting from lead in paint, lead in water, or lead elsewhere in their environment I don’t know. It seems, however, the current law is “overkill” for a small percentage–not that it is “small” to those who have lead poisoning. There should be a more practical and economical way to attack renovation in contaminated houses than this all-inclusive method set out by the EPA. (By the way the fines are set by the
    EPA and published in the Federal Register.)

    It’s fine to have a forum like this to vent but we need to become active in correcting this problem. Contact the media and the legislators. Give them examples such as working in a hot environment with protective clothing, “slip and slides” (booties on plastic), debris going into landfills as household waste, etc.

    If you are interested in what we did and how, contact us at or We need action .now

    • Todd says:

      Mickey – Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate you sharing this timely information so that others can take they’re anger and frustration and turn it into something productive. Keep us updated on progress if you can!

  72. I am an attorney who focuses on construction and business law and I have been reviewing changes to the law and blogging about it for quite some time. My blog will answer a number of your questions, or you can feel free to contact me directly.

    Just to present a balanced view, the RRP Rule will definitely add to contractor’s costs, but many of the folks from panels I have sat on regarding the Rule point out that those who do a “clean” job have been using these practices for years. Sealing off a room and containing dust are good work practices. Obviously the HEPA vac is an added expense and requirement.

    I have also developed contract clauses to help contractors with their contracts with homeowners and subcontractors. You can’t protect yourself from the EPA if you do not attempt to follow the practices, but you can use the RRP Rule as an opportunity to show homeowners that you are informed and working in their best interest.

    Andrea Goldman, Esq.
    Law Office of Andrea Goldman
    305 Walnut Street
    Newton, MA 02460
    T: 617-467-3072
    F: 617-467-3074

    “Home Contractor vs. Homeowner Blog”
    “Massachusetts Builders Blog”

    Helping parties manage their businesses and resolve disputes in construction
    and other industries through litigation, arbitration and mediation.

    Follow me on Twitter:

    • Todd says:

      Andrea – Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I don’t disagree with you about keeping clean job sites. However, you’ve got to admit that tenting off a houses exterior to replace windows is going too far. There’s got to be a balance between protective laws and laws that have zero common sense and workability.

  73. PJW says:

    The incidence of lead in children is less than one per cent and is diminishing in just about every state. Autism is now one in one hundred ten children, mostly white males. This law is for revenue enchancement and expansion of the Federal Misgoverment. Where was the open debate on this issue, I sure don’t recall even reading about it anywhere until BAMM it is a law. “Resistance is futile. We are the Borg.”

  74. John M says:

    A couple of us from the company I work for took the training class here in Alaska. To be honest the instructor could not answer many of our questions, which is a major problem. I was curious if any of you have had this problem. We were told that in some cases the onsite lead test are faulty. The instructor said you can test the same area and it will pass one time but not the next. We have tried this ourselfs and found the same thing. Took samples from the exact same paint and had one test pass and one fail. Has anyone else tried this?

  75. Michael says:

    Blah blah blah…..

    “Take back our Country” BS.

    Look, I am a real estate investor and my crew works on many homes for buy and hold and flips around PA. We have 6 properties under rehab as I type this and they are all built before 1978.

    Is this law going to change how we work? Absolutely, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

    1. People are always going to need a place to live, either rental or home ownership, that will never go away.

    2. YES it is going to cost more for my company to renovate homes, my price will go up accordingly. In my estimation that is going to add $2,000 to $4,000 per project. I can eat that and stay competitive or I can raise my price and pass that on to my customers (see point 1 above), OR I can do a combination of both (again see point 1 above).

    3. As this law works itself out prices will reflect the changes and things will stabilize (again see point 1 above).

    4. SMART business people capitalize on changing markets and conditions, the rest complain and b*tch their way out of business. While you people are crying the blues, I am going to find a way to make this work for me and my business partner, this is going into our marketing strategy.

    5. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I DO NOT WANT TO HURT PEOPLE. My first and overriding goal in business and life is to do no harm to others. I am not a scientist (and I bet no one else on this thread is either). I don’t have evidence that the lead in my projects isn’t going to hurt a child down the road so I will do what I can to minimize that risk.

    Again, this might add $4,000 to one of my projects. I am not going to put finitical gain (money in my pocket) in front of even the POSSIBLE risk to someone’s child. Ain’t going to happen, money does not come before the lives of people, I will open another business before I stoop to that level… maybe something for others to think about.

    Am I happy about losing money on my projects? Of course not but I WILL turn this into something positive for me and my crew.

    Good luck with your march on Washington fellas, I will be at the bank cashing checks.

    • Todd says:

      Michael – All valid points. However, I think the worst part is these new laws will make it nearly impossible for some folks to have repairs and upgrades done on their homes. The reality is that extra $2K to $4K will ultimately prevent many people from getting new windows, painting an old home, etc.

      • KENNETH says:

        I have search the internet for building demolition with Lead Paint on an high rise. If the building was build before 1978, do they not have to contain dust from the explosion. I would like to see the plastic bag over this structure. Can you find any information and share with everyone. Do they have to obey the Lead Paint Law. If dust is not contained in plastic Lead dust will be floating in air for miles. What do the EPA rule on these guys. Go on YOU TUBE and search (building demolition) and watch the dust fly.

  76. Harry says:


    I own and operate a painting company with 6 guys on my crew. We do a good amount of older house work.

    I took the course and I am for the safe work area, BUT what I don’t believe in is all the things they are requiring us to do! I recently bid an exterior job, I contracted a staging crew to give me a bid to stage the house and wrap it in plastic; this is so I can scrape and prep the house, the cost was as additional $9,500.00 to my painting bid, bringing it to $22,500.00 to paint an averaged sized 2 family in the Boston area.

    Obviously I didn’t get the job, the homeowner actually laughed at me and told me that I was crazy.

    This law helped take food off my table, something needs to be done about this.

    • Todd says:

      Harry – Really sorry to hear about the results of this new law on your business. Unfortunately unless someone in Washington overturns this law we’re going to see this situation repeat itself many times over. I will say that the winner bidder probably is setting himself up for a financial disaster as it will only take time before he’s caught. Keep your chin up and continue to spread the word about this law and how it’s impacting your life.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Harry says:

        Thanks Todd,

        So what do I do? keep bidding the jobs with the new laws and lose the bid?

        The average homeowner does NOT care what happens to us, they want their job done perfectly for the lowest cost. What happens to us? what happens to the guys that are trying to run an honest business?

        So do I stop doing exteriors? We do a lot of interiors, but let’s face it, we make money when we’re outside.

        I want to do the job right, and follow all the rules, but if my competiotion isn’t, how do I survive? The only way I see this law working is if every single painting company bids the job apples to apples, staging, plastic, the whole thing that the EPA requires.

        I would really like to hear what other painters are thinking.



        • Todd says:

          Harry – I feel your frustration and we’re in the same boat where I work. The first step is trying to educate the customers even though some will ignore the new rules and select the low contractor. It’s extremely frustrating but certainly not worth going bankrupt over after litigation. I also think that contractors need to speak up and start putting pressure on their state and federal representatives. The only way to fix this mess is having that law changed significantly.

  77. PLUMBER542 says:


    I am a Metro license Plumber in Nashville, Tennessee I think that Home Owners or any other building built before 1978 should do a lead inspection before any contractor step foot on their property. When applying for Lead Paint inspection, have the inspector check all window sills, drill small holes in plaster or drywall to check for the first layer of paint, to test for lead. Check all painted surface outside for lead paint. Plus the surrounding ground area for signs of lead. In other words give the home owner a clean bill of health on their home for any Lead Paint to be cleanup before a contractor begin work. On the inspector work sheet, record inspector name and permit number, address of home inspection, all details of inspection, in order to have the home register as House Has No Lead Found (HHNLF… I had to add this abbreviation for EPS – RRP), on their property and recorded to the local Codes Department then have the record of Clean Health Of Lead stamped on the Property Deed as to date of inspection.
    If the said owners home DOES contains Lead Paint, the owner will be required to have the Lead Paint and any other hidden Lead remove by a Certified Lead Removers and then have a return visit from the Certified Risk Assessor , then have their property recorded to the local Codes Department, if not codes then have the Record Of Clean Health Of Lead, on the Property Deed as to date of final inspection, before they can have work perform in their home. This will keep contractors out of the home until clean of Lead Paint. This way the local Codes Department and Property Deed will have the House Has No Lead Found (HHNLF) stamped permanently on their property deed for future use. For clearing the way for contactors to do renovation, on their built before 1978 home. Then the Home Owner may call for the renovation to be conducted in their home.
    No more plastic and high dollar machinery, for the contractors, to carry into the home, no slipping on plastic or be smother in a plastic suit. All the contractors needs to do before work is to call Codes Department or the County Court House for this property address to be renovated for the House Has No Lead Found (HHNLF) Number or Stamp Of Approval. This will prevent lawyers from bring any lawsuits, to the contractors for Lead Poisoning of children, and pregnant women. Because the home was stamped classified as NOT having Lead on the premises at the local Codes Department and Property Deed. If this is not correct or not true as recorded, the contractors has a good lawsuit, Against the RISK INSPECTOR.
    Also when home owners are ready to sale their home. The realtor will have no trouble finding if the house has Lead, from the recorded stamp of approval House Has No Lead Found (HHNLF)
    This way the cost will be only for Materials and Labor, and not for all the Lead cleanup.
    Either way the home owner will pay the bill, plus have a Stamp of approval House Has No Lead Found (HHNLF) on their Deed for future use.
    The little Guy will go out of business that will mean their children will have to go without eating right. Also less taxes for the government from this company to report in. and the mass number of unemployment to come.
    This is as simple as I can make the Plan Before Renovation. Think of the time and money spend on this subject of Lead Paint In The Home. If this Plan is not workable there is something wrong in our nation, USA. We need some leaders in Government. Why work when only we have to take what little we make on a job and them turn around and dish it back out in Taxes, to the Insurance Company, Workmen Comp, and more hand me. I need a break sometime a vacation and all others small guys the same. THIS WILL STOP ALL LEAD POISONING IN THE HOMES TO BE RENOVATED. LIKE I SAID THIS A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM. From Ken the plumber for over 30 years

  78. sarah says:

    Hi Guys.

    This situation has ruined my family. My husband bought a house (3 family) in a new england city with the intention of doing a quick interior cosmetic renovation so my son and I could then move in and we could resume being a family under one roof.

    The house was built in the 1890’s, was a trust sale and in a great neighborhood …and for some stupid reason we did not take into account the fact that it was coated inside and out with lead paint and what that would mean to us as a family with a baby.

    Well, it’s been 3 years since we bought the house. I’ve been staying with family in a neighboring state and my husband has been living there, working full-time (commuting, too) and working on the house. Because we realized after we bought the house all of the hazards involved, he decided to mitigate it himself…this was before the law came about you guys are talking about. I tried to convince him to hire someone but we couldn’t afford it…we could only afford to hire people willing to do bits and pieces at different times. And he did the bulk of the work.

    It’s been hell. My son is almost 4 years old and has not been able to live with his dad because of this. We could not refinance the house until work had been done to increase the value. And this all happened during the fall of the housing market and the recession during which my husband was laid off for a short period of time, halting the work on the house. All of my knowledge about lead paint and the hazards to children has been learned doing research and reading studies on-line. It’s hard to know what to believe but the bottom line is that it is a danger to children even in small quantities. I’ve not even visited the house with him because I would feel so AWFUL and so much guilt if he were to be poisoned.

    Here’s the clincher: We finished the work on the 2nd floor (our apartment). the front entry way is done and the stairs 1-3 floors are done. The first floor is rented out (yes, work was done while they were living there (adults, not kids). The first floor has been re-painted but not de-leaded. The 2nd floor is de-leaded. The 3rd floor is sealed off and we will not work on it until we move out. We eventually want to finish the little work left and refinance and rent all 3 floors or sell it. It’s been such a pain in the ass.

    I am very hesitant to move in as we have had the house tested and it is “lead safe but one of the floors tested a 32 and the limit from the EPA on floors is a 40 and then it’s considered a hazard. My husband seems to think it’s all fine but I am very concerned. We hired a professional cleaner as well.

    To top it off, the outside is not newly painted. There is chipping paint and although our son is smart and would never eat it, I’m concerned about the dust coming off the outside and the soil. We were waiting to have the outside refinished ($$$) after our son turned 6 to prevent any poisoning as well as saving money for it.

    In all honesty, it seems like the best thing to do is to rent 2nd floor out, move to a lead-free rental, renovate 3rd floor and finish the outside. Replace soil and SELL. Get the house lead free and sell our house.

    This long story is a warning to anyone trying to buy an older home as a rental income or owner occupied deal. ESPECIALLY if you have young children.
    If we had been more aware of the problems involved we never would have done this.

    BTW, I know of about 6 people close to me who all have young children who have done their own small renovations in home and their kids tested high for lead. That is why we never lived there with his father. These are families living in middle class to affluent single and two family homes that they own. This stuff is not isolated to inner city low income scenarios.

    I also feel bad for all of the contractors who have to deal with this lead removal stuff. It’s truly brutal. And this problem WILL have a huge impact on real estate sales. Once people (buyers ) realize they will have to do so much to mitigate the lead, they not want to buy anything built before 1978.

    A while back, the state of RI tried to sue the paint manufacturers who knowingly used lead in their products although they also knew it was a hazard. The $$ from the lawsuit was to be used to fund the lead mitigation process. RI lost the suit. Now, it’s in the hands of the people who own the homes.

    The more people become educated about the risks and become afraid of getting sued by tenants, the less these homes will be worth. We have even thought, well, what if our 1st floor tenants (adults) catch wind of these epa laws, will they sue us for working in our own home and exposing them to small amounts of dust?

    Can of worms!!!!!!

  79. As a painting contractor in California this law is just one more thing that adds to the burden of trying to run a legitimate business here. I would not mind complying as much if there was more action towards trying to discourage unlicensed work and stiffer penalties toward home owners for hiring them.

  80. Harry says:

    Hi Sara,

    I feel really bad for you, after reading your story. I have been told, in the training class that homeowners are exempt from this rule!! a homeowner can scrape and sand, with the new rule, you as a home owner are allowed to do this.

    Although it helps the home owner save money, and keeps it legal, it puts us out of business. I was buying paint yesterday, and a homeowner was ther doing the same, she had a general question about sanding. I gave her my advise and also let her know that it’s dangerous to do it herself. She looked at me and said “that sucks for you guys, because nothing will happen to us.”

    How am I supposed to react? This law is going to make a circus of this business. I live in Boston, and certain towns are difficult to work in. I have lost many bids since April 2010.

    So, a home owner can do whatever they want, poison others, and it’s totally cool, but when we try to do it right, if we forgot to do one of the 1,000 things they ask we get fined $32,500 / day. is this a joke?

    I agree a million percent on safe worksite, but some of the things they ask from us is crazy!

    let me know what you think.


  81. THAD says:







  82. Harry says:

    me again!

    Don’t you think it would be more beneficial if the government demanded that all old windows get replaced (most common lead dust releaser) how about that? No, let’s drain the working guy.

    This government has NO clue!

    • bill parsley says:

      aIve been applying with this law but Iam piss because iam small co. iwork for myseif window world did a job next door to the job i did they put no plastic down or didnot where no suit iam investing into a camcorder this is bullshit!

  83. Sal Mangeri says:

    Liquid sand paper only dulls the finish of oil base paints. It does not create any dust. But if I use it I was told in a recent class by the instructor that I still have to put down plastic as if I were creating dust. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

  84. John says:

    So since I grew up in a home that had lead paint and it was on all of the fancy dishwear, does that mean I am poisoned?? Hmmmmm

  85. Justin says:

    I was thinking exactly what John just said….i live in a house i grew up in but dont own….its owned by a relative and i pay rent….seems that no company will insure the house now because of the new laws…you can live in a house (presumably at your own risk) but cannot rent?…so either i buy the house or i have to move out and let someone else buy the house i’ve lived in all my life……am i or my girlfriend or my dog at any risk?…its a house built in 1912

  86. Guillermo says:

    I am a homeowner and I trying to follow the law but I cant event get a company to even touch my house, because it is too much liability. Now I am stuck and the paint outside is chipping away every day more and more. I guess the lead paint is fine to chip as long as I dont do anything.
    I live in MA and my only option I guess is to try to paint it myself. Any advice or any new news for this law.

  87. Greg Myers says:

    The Department of Labor and Industry will require all cities, counties and township who perform code enforcement to check and confirm a contractor is an EPA certified Renovation Firm and has at least one Certified Renovator assign to the project when they pull a permit beginning no later than Feb. 1, 2011.

    Good contractor use dust control, containment and cleanup regardless of what type of renovation work is being done, if not most would be out of business.

  88. Elaine Schuster says:

    I am a homeowner. I just paid $80. extra per window for lead abatement on seven windows. These were just the wood frames which had at least two coats of non-lead paint over any lead paint. New vinyl frames had been installed inside the wood frames, no lead there. It was a pretty big job for them to put all that plastic to cover everything, including on the snowy roof, which looked quite dangerous. My neighbors got quite a thrill over the yellow tape all around our whole yard. All the crew did was pry off the painted frames and cart them off to be disposed of. No paint dust or chips. And why was I, a grandmother who has lived with lead paint all her life, not allowed to opt out of this mess? Best story, the crew did not wear moon suits or with face masks, and they said the debris, including all the plastic, goes to a landfill. So, all we are doing with this law in a case like my house, is adding extra debris to a landfill. I am for reason, let’s go for a sliding scale based on risk.

  89. bob says:

    Lead paint has not been manufactured since 1978. This problem will cure itself in time. I own rental property and will not do any work that requires compliance. Windows will be installed by others. Do you know any contractors that have $37,500? Are all contractors literate enough to take this test? By the way, I’m told this has been in the works since 1991.

  90. sam says:

    epa just want to put small contractors out of business i live in wis and if they were so worried about it the town of wi dells a big resort town were thousands of kids visit every year just about evrything there was built before 1978 including 3 large water parks and several hotels owned by russian and polish imagranits im sure they will fix things the wright way lmao get a life epa or bulldoze these lead infested towns

  91. SAW says:

    I am a small time landlord and a seasoned rehabber. I dont like the law anymore than most of you, but did you call your senator? Raise heck and let them now how you feel.

  92. Tony says:

    Hi Todd

    I stumbled across this site, as I was looking for the reason why all the DIY shows on TV, don’t seem to have to comply with the new lead paint laws. Like many on this forum I too have taken the lead safe practices class. I realize that a lot of these shows come out of Canada, but sponsors like Lowes and Home depot are making a mint off of customers who watch them. If the EPA wants to save the world why don’t they start by banning these shows, Thanks for letting me vent


    • Todd says:

      Interesting perspective and you’re probably correct to some degree. The other thing is most viewers NEVER see 90% of what happens and it’s possible that the shows are doing the abatement before taping.

  93. Dee says:

    What about the contractor in Washington, DC who did a flip and chose not to replace any of the lead based painted wood? He just painted over it. The woodwork looks awful because you can see where the paint had been chipped off. Then it is painted over with a very thick layer of new paint. Some of the doors must have been closed when the paint was still partly wet. When they were opened again it pulled the paint off down to the wood.

  94. david says:

    the original opening stated:

    “Over the last few months I’ve heard several small contractors say they will steer clear of and avoid older home renovations. A significant amount of small replacement window contractors will most likely go out of business and stop providing inexpensive window replacement services.”

    I’ve not read every contribution and comment, so I apologize for any redundancy:

    However, having lived thru the inception of AHERA, and the subsequent market response, I would say:

    1. There will be mighty darn few contractors who “go out of business”, because of this law;

    2. This lead problem is orders of magnitude more important to the health of society than the HUGE over response to the “asbestos hazard”.

    On the other hand, I’ve made money on both in providing insurance products to both groups of contractors (Pb and ACM abatement) and their asessors, so I ain’t complainin’.

    “It’s an ill wind that blows NObody good..”

  95. Shane says:

    Everyone is absolutely right. I brought up the sample point about plastic in land fills. There Is no way to ever be fully compliant on these rules. I brought up ten same concept with electric cars. If we all went to electric cars where do we dispose of the millions and millions of batteries. These lead laws are going to destroy any neighborhood that has historical value. And old townships that are of low income are going to fall to the ground. We have homes that are 150 hrs old in northern Maine that only have a resale price of 35k, these owners have little to no income.

    So, these homes will just fall to the ground over time because of lack of funds to comply to these ridiculous rules. Now all the lead will be flaking to the ground. Do they think these thoughts out more that a day. Very angry. They have really done a disservice to all homeowners here.

  96. Hello Hello? Is there anyone out there to answer some questions? My Roofing company is about to renovate a house with lead paint. Only one of the subs has been certified to abate lead. Is the enough for the everyone as long as he is present. Or does each sub need to be certified. contact me here

  97. Sandy says:

    I’ve read all the comments and the article. I live in a house built around 1918. I worried about lead dust from the window frames when we moved into the house, but none of the windows have ever been painted… they were stained, so I stopped worrying about the lead. My husband and I have lived here since 1992 and raised all our children here. We started renovating the house in 1995. We completely removed all the plaster and lath in the bathroom and replaced it all. We replaced the window/tub/toilet/sink and tiled the tub enclosure. We didn’t even think about lead paint covering all that plaster. The dust mess was unbelievable during all that work and infiltrated into every room in the house. Last year we started to get rid of the rest of the plaster… it is all in bad shape. I discovered that I am allergic to the formaldehyde dust that was used as insulation in the exterior walls, so we are also getting rid of all of that. I stumbled upon this website/forum while doing some research to figure out how we are supposed to be doing the lead abatement, but can not find out what all is involved. I started worrying about the lead after watching one of the DIY programs talk about the problem and showed some clips of a company doing the lead abatement…. not enough for me to see all what we need to do. I bought a lead test kit and tested the walls last night. They definitely show lead is present. Now I am concerned that we have poisoned ourselves and our grandchild. Part of the renovations were done last year by a contractor… they took off all the plaster in 3/4 of our main level… put in new subfloor, put up dry wall, replaced (and relocated) every window in the house but one, installed new insulation. They also rewrapped the exterior of the house and resided the house with fiber cement siding. I do not recall any tenting or yellow tape and I know they didn’t use a hepa vacuum. We can not afford to have the rest of the work done by someone else… AND we want to make sure we do the work safely for ouselves, our 2 year-old grandchild, and our environment. We still have the walls and ceilings to do in three bedrooms and the living room, the stairwell and a hall. Is there a source for all these regulations that have been complained about here? Also, do all these regs apply to electricians? Is that why I can’t get an electrician to give me a quote on finishing the new wiring (the house had knob & tube wiring in most of the rooms?

    • Todd says:


      All this lead paint “stuff” is enough to make your head spin. The good news is there are some decent resources online particularly at the EPA. The real issue with Lead Paint is working in an environment that protects yourself and others from lead dust. There are lots of publications online telling you how to properly tent off a work area, how to use water to prevent dust and how to clean up with hepa filters. If you call your local state environmental pollution office they can give you lots of this information.

      I’m not surprised you’re having trouble finding an electrician. Yes the new law applies to all trades, painters, electricians, plumbers, framers, on and on the list goes.

      I wish you luck….take your time…ask lots of questions and most importantly don’t give up.

  98. Roy says:

    We should tear down all these old historic homes and build new homes anyway…right!? Then we can finally get that awful “This old house” off the dang TV. Just think….If we get rid of the 80% of the current housing population that would create a lot of jobs right? Who cares about wide pine floors and solid wood doors anyway? And after we take care of that….let’s all wear inflatable bubble suits and keep our thoughts to ourselves!

  99. Patricia R. Gillette says:

    Is it true that the “opt out waiver” is no longer valid? If so when did that take effect?

  100. russell says:

    Why dont the goverment offer a tax credit for people when they take lead paint from the home.. That will help with the cost hike from contractors. Or do they already offer this in illinois

  101. As a certified renovator in Pennsylvania I have come to realize that most contractors are scared to confront customers with the increased cost of doing the renovation in a safe manner. We have also seen that there are many contractors that are rolling the dice and spitting in the eye of the EPA and this could & will come back to bite. You must remember that in the soceity that we live in that you don’t always need to worry about the EPA showing up on your job site but, if the customer gets a moment where he is not happy with you and finds out that the laws exist that it should not be out of the question that someone could report you as a form of being vindictive. What about a customer’s neighbor if you are doing outside work? I know that where I do business that there is a extensive media campaign for the lead laws so remeber that the customer’s are not out in the dark as one might think. Before you take the chance of not following the rules you may want to look at it again and take the high road on this issue. If you have any questions or comments come see us at <a

  102. James Raymond says:

    Go to a site called Shawn he has a RRP information site to help contractors and property owners, extremelyhelpful site, I am a semi-retired contractor in Massachusetts,DOS has violation fines $70,000.00 And Obama ??? what about auto tires wearing away on highways, the cancer rate neat major roads cause more health problems than the civil war death rate. Really, Air quality facts.

    J.R. Newburyport Mass

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