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Homes and Community Renewal

2010-C-02: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

To: All Housing Authority Chairpersons and Executive Directors
     All Housing Company Owners, Managing Agents and Site Managers

From: Robert Damico, Downstate Director &
          Joe Fryer, Upstate Director, Housing Management Bureau

Date: May 7, 2010

Subject: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
             Lead-Based Paint and Construction Work


As of April 22, 2010, the EPA Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (RRP) requires maintaining leadsafe work practices during any work which involves disturbing interior or exterior finishes in pre-1978 and non-senior citizen housing. Also in this category are day-care facilities and schools. Examples of affected work are apartment restorations, window and door buck replacement, and apartment/lobby/hallway painting.

The RRP Rule requires that renovators are trained in the use of lead-safe work practices (LSWP), that renovators and firms be certified, that providers of renovation training be accredited, and that renovators follow specific work practice standards. The new 8-hour RRP training course will teach contractors how to perform LSWP safely and effectively in compliance with the EPA RRP Rule and the HUD Lead Safe Housing Rule. Renovators with previous LSWP training may opt for the 4-hour RRP Refresher training course. The RRP Rule is not intended to supersede or preempt any more stringent State or local laws. Additional information on this Rule can be found at http://www.epa.gov/lead/rrp/index.html, and HUD and EPA guidance on the rules is attached for information.

Being that the rules only come into play if the affected areas have not been confirmed to be lead-free, it is essential that all surfaces to be disturbed are tested for lead-based paint before any such contracts are let. If you have not had the affected surfaces tested, an EPA certified risk assessor or inspector technician must test them.

DHCR supervised Mitchell-Lama housing companies and public housing authorities must state the existence or absence of lead in the specifications of affected scope items. Where lead hazards exist, lead-safe practices must be stated in the specifications to be in accordance with the EPA or stricter ruling, and all bidders must submit the applicable EPA certifications with their bids. DHCR Paint Specifications (HM-116) and Window Guide Specifications will be revised shortly to reflect the new rule and be posted on the DHCR web site.

Housing Trust Fund, Turnkey, Home, SLIC and LIHC projects must submit the applicable certifications with any reserve withdrawal request for any work defined by the EPA Rule.

Please inform your professional consultants and staff of the new ruling, and contact your DHCR Housing Management representative for further information.

- Robert Damico
- Joseph Fryer


EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule

Sampling of FAQs from www.epa.gov

General Topics:

Question:
What is the purpose of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answer:
The purpose of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule is to minimize exposure from lead-based paint dust during renovation, repair, or painting activities. This is a key effort in reducing the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning, particularly lead poisoning caused by housing contaminated by renovation activities. This will also minimize exposure to older children and adults who are also adversely impacted by lead-based paint dust exposure. Lead paint was used in more than 38 million homes prior to its ban for residential use in 1978. This paint can form toxic dust when it is disturbed during normal home repair work. EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) program is designed to reduce lead contamination by training contractors in relatively simple leadsafe work practices, and certifying contractors to make sure that they follow lead-safe work practices. We also want consumers to choose firms that are certified. Given that lead poisoning can cause a wide range of physical, intellectual, emotional, and behavioral issues with societal and financial impacts, this program is prevention-based, cost-effective, and a long-term bargain.

Question:
Is there one document available that includes the latest version of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, with all amendments added to their associated locations, in complete form, and not including the preamble?

Answer:
Yes. Visit the RRP Web site at http://www.epa.gov/lead/abatement.html and click on Code of Federal Regulation Title 40: Protection of Environment; Part 745: Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention in Certain Residential Structures.

Question:
What is a renovation?

Answer:
The RRP Rule covers activities that modify an existing structure and that result in the disturbance of painted surfaces. All types of repair, remodeling, maintenance, modernization, and weatherization projects are covered, including projects performed as part of another Federal, State, or local program, if the projects meet the definition of ''renovation''. The term "renovation" includes (but is not limited to):

The RRP Program rule only applies to persons who perform renovations for compensation.

Question:
Does the RRP rule apply to simple painting activities that occur when rental properties turn over? Approximately half of the rental units in the country get new tenants each year. This means a large number of properties are being repeated

Answer:
If there is no surface preparation that disturbs the existing paint prior to painting, the RRP Rule does not apply. If you disturb paint by scraping or sanding while preparing the surface, the RRP Rule applies.

Question:
Who is covered by the new Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answer:
The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule applies to all firms and individuals who are paid to perform renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb paint in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities. This includes home improvement contractors, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades.

Property Management Issues:

Question:
A property management company performs most of the clerical functions of the business, and hires plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc., for its renovation needs. Does the property management company need firm certification to comply with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answer:
A property management company acts as an agent for the landlord and has the same responsibilities as the landlord under the RRP Rule. Therefore, if the property management company uses its own employees to do the work, the property management company must be a certified firm and one of the employees must be a certified renovator.

If the property management company hires a renovation firm to perform the renovation, the property management company does not need firm or renovator certification, but the firm the property management company hires must be certified and must perform the renovation using a certified renovator that directs and provides on-the-job training to any workers that are not certified renovators.

Question:
If I rent out apartments built before 1978, in order to comply with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, do I need to get firm and renovator certification if I do my own work on it? What if I hire a renovation firm to do the work?

Answer:
With respect to landlords, EPA believes that there are two circumstances where work being done in pre-1978 apartment is for compensation such that the landlord must be a certified firm and use (or be) a certified renovator. First, if the landlord does the renovation him or herself, then the landlord must have firm and renovator certification. Second if an employee of the landlord does the renovation work, then the landlord must have firm certification and the employee must be a certified renovator.

However, if the landlord hires a renovation firm to perform the renovation, the landlord does not need firm or renovator certification, but the firm hired by the landlord must be certified and must perform the renovation using a certified renovator that directs and provides on-the-job training to any workers that are not certified renovators.

Question:
Is the fee for firm certification waived for self- employed individuals or landlords?

Answer:
No. Congress requires EPA to impose a fee on certified contractors that is sufficient to recover the costs of administering and enforcing the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. All applicants for firm certification must submit the $300 fee as part of their application. A firm's certification is effective for 5 years.

Construction & Contracting Issues:

Question:
How is window repair or maintenance, as distinct from removal, treated under the RRP Rule? Would the rule apply to a job that replaced parts or components of a window, such as broken or failed glass, hardware, or balance systems, where some components might be painted, but the frame of the window would remain?

Answer:
Replacing a pane of glass or fixing a broken window balancer is not a window replacement. Therefore, to be subject to the rule one must disrupt more than 6 square feet for the job not to be considered minor maintenance. When calculating the 6 square feet when a component is being removed, it's based on the surface area of the component. Also keep in mind that even the replacement of a piece of glass in a window can disturb paint. The glazing that holds the pane in place in older windows is painted, and this glazing has to be removed for the pane to be replaced.

Question:
Is interior containment required as well as exterior containment for an exterior window removal?

Answer:
Yes, if exterior window removal creates dust and debris on the interior of the building. Before beginning the renovation, the firm must isolate the work area so that no dust or debris leaves the work area while the renovation is being performed. If removing windows from the exterior creates dust and debris on the interior as well as the exterior of the building, then the firm must follow the requirements in the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule for both interior and exterior containment. Window replacement typically disturbs paint on both the interior and exterior of a building.

Question:
Does the RRP Rule apply to installing replacement windows, in other words, removing the old sash and installing a new vinyl window in the opening, without sawing or sanding?

Answer:
Yes. Window replacement does not qualify for the minor repair or maintenance exception.

Question:
Who would be liable for the fine if a state or local government that was not a certified firm hired a contractor that was not certified?

Answer:
The hired firm would be in violation of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule if it was uncertified and performing a covered renovation.

Question:
Must my firm be certified if we are performing a renovation that started in March but will not be completed until June 2010?

Answer:
Yes. On or after April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule unless the firm has certification from EPA.

Question
If a general contractor hires a subcontractor to work at a renovation site, does the subcontractor need to be a certified firm if the subcontractor does not disturb any paint?

Answer:
Firms performing tasks that disturb no painted surfaces whatsoever do not need to be certified. However, since conditions at the job site may be difficult to predict, EPA strongly recommends that all firms involved in the renovation be certified and use properly trained and certified personnel. For example, a firm hired to install an HVAC system after demolition of painted surfaces has taken place may find that to complete the job painted surfaces need to be disturbed. The HVAC firm may not engage in activities that disturb painted surfaces if it is not certified.

As every renovation job is different, it is up to the firm acting as the general contractor to determine what activities are within the scope of the renovation and to ensure that other firms are properly trained and certified for the tasks they will be performing. All firms, including the firm acting as the general contractor, are responsible for making sure the renovation is performed in accordance with the work practice standards, including keeping containment intact and making sure lead dust and debris do not leave the work site. General contractors should keep in mind that if a firm hires a subcontractor that fails to follow the work practice standards or otherwise violates the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule, the firm that hired the subcontractor is also responsible for the violation.

Question:
My firm acts as a general contractor - we subcontract the entire renovation job to other companies rather than using our own employees. Does my firm need to be a certified firm under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answer:
Yes. Beginning April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the RRP Rule without certification from EPA. A general contractor that subcontracts the entire renovation job to other firms must be certified as a firm for two reasons. First, the contractual agreement between the general contractor and the subcontractor is based on the general contractor's offer to renovate the property of a third party for compensation. The RRP Rule requires a contractor that makes such an offer to be certified as a firm. Second, once the offer is accepted, the general contractor is obligated to perform a renovation in accordance with the terms of the contract, whether written or oral. Even if the general contractor chooses to fulfill its obligation to perform the renovation by hiring subcontractors, the general contractor is performing a renovation for purposes of the RRP rule and must comply with all the requirements of the rule that apply to firms performing renovations.

Question:
My firm acts as a general contractor - we subcontract the entire renovation job to other companies rather than using our own employees. Under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, does my firm need to have a certified renovator at the job site?

Answer:
Not necessarily. All firms performing renovations, including general contractors, must ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. A firm acting as a general contractor may satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that also takes responsibility for ensuring that all individuals performing the renovation activities are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator.

With respect to assigning a certified renovator who is responsible for any OJT and regularly directing other workers, a firm acting as a general contractor my satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that in turn assigns a certified renovator to the job. However, this does not discharge the general contractor's liability to ensure compliance with the RRP Rule.

Question:
Under the RRP Rule, can a certified renovator supervise workers of a different company, or must each firm involved in a project furnish a certified renovator?

Answer:
All firms performing renovations must ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. The RRP Rule does not prohibit firms from reaching agreement on which will supply the certified renovator who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the RRP Rule and who directs and trains non-certified workers. All firms remain liable for ensuring compliance with the RRP Rule.

Question:
Is the certified renovator assigned to a specific project responsible for the work practices of other contractors on the project if the certified renovator is an employee of the general contractor of the project?

Answer:
All firms performing renovations must ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. A firm acting as a general contractor may satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that takes responsibility for ensuring that all individuals performing the renovation activities are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. With respect to assigning a certified renovator who is responsible for any on-the-job training and regularly directing workers who are not certified renovators, a firm acting as a general contractor my satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that in turn assigns a certified renovator to the job. However, this does not discharge the general contractor's liability to ensure compliance with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.

Question:
How can I find a certified renovation firm in my area?

Answer:
EPA's website includes a search tool that allows consumers to find certified firms and certified renovators in their area. Consumers will also be able to use this tool to verify the credentials of firms and renovators. You can find this search tool at http://www.epa.gov/lead/abatement.html.

Alternatively, you can contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD for a list of contractors in your area.

Question:
Is work done by friends, a brother-in-law, or volunteers covered by the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule if no one is compensated?

Answer:
No. The RRP Rule only applies to renovations performed for compensation. Compensation includes pay for work performed, such as that paid to contractors and subcontractors; wages, such as those paid to employees of contractors, building owners, property management companies, child-occupied facility operators, State and local government agencies, and non-profits; and rent for target housing or public or commercial building space.

Even if you are not required to comply with the RRP Rule, it is important to be aware that renovation activities can create hazardous lead dust and chips. The key to protecting yourself and your family during renovation is to use lead-safe work practices. Information on these practices is available in the EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right (PDF), en español (PDF).

Question:
How much will it cost contractors to comply with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answer:
Information collected by EPA for the purposes of the rulemaking indicates that many contractors already follow some of the work practices required by the rule, such as using disposable plastic sheeting to cover floors and objects in the work area. These estimates do not include the costs of those practices.

EPA estimates that the costs of containment, cleaning, and cleaning verification will range from $8 to $167 per job, with the exception of those exterior jobs where vertical containment would be required.

In addition to work practice costs, your costs will include training fees, certification fees, equipment costs, and labor costs. The costs include:

Question:
The certified renovator is required to have proof of their certification at the work site. If the certified renovator provides on-the-job training to workers, does there need to be documentation of that training at the work site too?

Answer:
No. Certified renovators must have with them at the work site copies of their initial course completion certificate and their most recent refresher course completion certificate. Certified renovators are also responsible for providing training to non-certified workers on the work practices they will be using in performing their assigned tasks. The renovation firm must keep records showing what training was provided to workers, but these records need not be available at the work site.

Question:
If the demolition, cleanup, and cleaning verification portion of a renovation project is performed under the direction of a certified renovator using trained workers, can uncertified workers complete the job if further disturbances of painted surfaces will not occur? For example, a certified firm establishes containment and removes wall and ceiling board to the rough framing members. Cleaning and verification take place and containment is removed and properly disposed of. At that point, can non-certified firms perform electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or drywall work?

Answer:
Yes. Activities that do not disturb paint, such as applying paint to walls that have already been prepared, are not regulated by the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule if they are conducted after post-renovation cleaning verification has been performed.

Question:
Under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP Rule, when testing a property for the presence of lead prior to beginning a renovation using an EPA-recognized test kit, must I test every component affected by the renovation?

Answer:
Yes. Because certified renovator training does not cover sampling protocols, certified renovators using EPA recognized test kits to determine the applicability of the RRP Rule must test each and every component that will be affected in order to determine that the RRP Rule does not apply to a particular renovation.

Question:
Do test results from a certified renovator using an EPA recognized test kit (40 CFR § 745.83) become an official part of the lead-based paint testing record for that house thus negating the need for a certified lead inspector or certified lead risk assessor to conduct the inspection in that area of the house? Can a certified renovator conduct a complete lead-based paint inspection and give the property owner as an inspection report?

Answer:
The results of paint testing using test kits are part of the official lead-based paint testing record for a home, and must be disclosed under EPA's Real Estate Disclosure regulation (40 CFR part 745, subpart F). However, EPA's regulations only provide for a certified inspector or risk assessor to conduct a lead-based paint inspection and to prepare a lead-based paint inspection report. Thus, allowing renovators to test components does not negate the requirement that a certified inspector or risk assessor follow the requirements set forth in § 745.227(b) when conducting a lead-based paint inspection.

Complete EPA FAQ Web Address:
http://toxics.custhelp.com/cgibin/ toxics.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=XODvSYLj&p_lva=&p_li=&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_page=1&p _cv=&p_pv=2.747&p_prods=716%2C747&p_cats=&p_hidden_prods=&prod_lvl1=716&prod_lvl2=747&p_search_text =&srch_btn_submit=%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0Search%C2%A0%C2%A0%C2%A0&p_new_search=1


Lead Safe Housing Rule and the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

HUD's specific requirements under the Lead Safe Housing Rule depend on the amount of Federal rehabilitation assistance the project is receiving. The Table below provides a comparison to EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and guidance on what steps must be taken to comply with the RPP. Additional guidance is available for Renovators.

Stage of Job Requirement HUD LSHR EPA RRP Changes to LSHR Projects
to
Comply with RRP
Planning and Set-Up Determination that lead-based paint (LBP) is present EPA-recognized test kits cannot be used to say paint is not LBP. Only a certified LBP inspector or risk assessor may determine whether LBP is present. Certified renovators use an EPA-recognized test kit to determine if RRP rule applies or not. None.
  Training HUD does not certify renovators or firms. All workers and supervisors must complete a HUD approved curriculum in lead safe work practices, except that non-certified renovation workers need only on-the job training if they are supervised by a certified LBP abatement supervisor who is also a certified renovator. EPA or EPA authorized States certify renovation firms and accredit training providers that certify renovators. Only the certified renovator is required to have classroom training. Workers must receive on-the-job training from the certified renovator. Renovation firms must be certified. At least one certified renovator must be at the job or available when work is being done. (The certified renovator may be a certified LBP abatement supervisor who has completed the 4-hour RRP refresher course.)
  Pre-Renovation HUD requires conformance with EPA regulations, including EPA's Pre-Renovation Education Rule. EPA had required renovators to hand out the EPA / HUD / CPSC Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home (Lead Disclosure Rule) pamphlet. Education Renovators must hand out the EPA /HUD Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools pamphlet. (This requirement went into effect on December 22, 2008.) None.
During the job Treating LBP hazards Depending on type and amount of HUD assistance, HUD requires that lead hazards be treated using "interim controls" or "ongoing lead-based paint maintenance." EPA generally requires that renovations in target housing be performed using lead-safe work practices. None.
  Prohibited Work Practices HUD prohibits 6 work practices. These include EPA's 3 prohibited work practices plus: heat guns that char paint, dry scraping or sanding farther than 1 ft. of electrical outlets, and use of a volatile stripper in poorly ventilated space. EPA prohibits 3 work practices (open flame burning or torching, heat guns above 1100 degrees F, machine removal without HEPA vacuum attachment). None.
  Threshold minimum amounts of interior paint disturbance which trigger lead activities. HUD has a lower interior "de minimis" threshold (2 sq. ft. per room, or 10% of a small component type) than EPA for lead-safe work practices. HUD also uses this lower threshold for clearance and occupant notification. EPA's interior threshold (6 sq. ft. per room) for minor repair and maintenance activities is higher than HUD's de minimis threshold. None.
End of job Confirmatory Testing HUD requires a clearance examination done by an independent party instead of the certified renovator's cleaning verification procedure. EPA allows cleaning verification by the renovator or clearance examination. The cleaning verification does not involve sampling and laboratory analysis of the dust. None.
  Notification to Occupants HUD requires the designated party to distribute notices to occupants within 15 days after lead hazard evaluation and control activities in their unit (and common areas, if applicable). EPA has no requirement to notify residents who are not the owners after the renovation. None.

Last updated on 12/19/12