August 2010 Archives

August 19, 2010

Building and Renovation Contractors Need to Understand EPA's Renovation Repair and Painting Rule

With the upcoming deadline fast approaching, we wanted to follow-up our April 15, 2010 post titled "New Lead Paint Rules for Contractors" with a timely reminder. As most people are aware, lead based paints were banned from residential construction in the late 1970's because of the harmful affects to individuals and particularly, the developmental issues it created in young children.
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Renovation firms/contractors and workers will have until September 30, 2010 to obtain the necessary training/certifications; or at least be enrolled in these classes to avoid violating the new Renovation Repair and Painting Rule. Requirements include, among others items, new training guidelines, new certification processes for paint disturbances where lead may be present and that each project must have a designated certified renovator that is responsible for overseeing the project and insure compliance with the new RRP Rule. The rule imposes requirements where a failure to comply can result in a substantial fine of $37,500 for a single violation! We know the costs of those new approved HEPA vacuum and filtration systems are high, but they don't approach the level of the potential fines for most small to mid-sized jobsites.
While we don't yet know exactly how expensive the new regulations will be in regards to lawsuits, we are working closely with many of our landlord clients to prepare for this new liability. We've already seen instances of contractors and property owners attempting to nod and wink their way out of compliance as a cost saving measure. From the landlord's perspective, even if the fines aren't enough of a deterrent, the potential lawsuits should be terrifying.

Going forward, we are advising our contractors, property managers and other clients who own and rent/lease real estate that this will be a major issue and that their contracts will need to be reviewed to allocate for this new liability. In addition, clients need to talk with their insurance adjuster as well to make sure they have coverage as well.

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