We are located in a town where a majority of the homes are pre- 1940. How do the new lead rules apply to home owners who do their own work? (RRP DIY)
Unfortunately, the RRP rules do not apply to home owners doing their own work! Also, the rule does not apply if the work is being done by volunteers. The rule only applies if the work is being done for compensation. If volunteers are being supervised by a paid supervisor, the rule does apply.
Homeowners have no responsibilities under the new EPA RRP rules. They can do their own work as they please, but are "encouraged" to follow lead safe practices. If home owners are considering doing their own work, contractors can suggest they read Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work. This booklet published by HUD will make them aware of lead hazards and the risks they will take if they do their own work. It also includes very thorough instructions, for working lead safe, specific to performing a variety of projects. This booklet may help many homeowners realize they are getting in over their head and should hire a professional. The booklet might also be a great resource for contractors trying to collect effective and innovative lead safe work practices.
Contractors are required to be a certified firm to offer and orsell the work, but the homeowner does not in any way have responsibility to only hire a certified firm. There is no consequence to the consumer for hiring someone who works illegally. If this is a challenge for you, it would be pointless to express your concerns to an EPA employee. They don't make the laws or rules. Rather, you should speak with your congressman. Congress was and is responsible for this rule, it's contents and the rule's lack of insight into the realities of implementation in the real world.