If An EPA Recognized Lead Test Kit Indicates No Lead, Can A Non-Certified Firm Do The Work?
This can be tricky. Keep in mind that for RRP purposes, only a certified renovator or licensed lead testing professional can do testing to determine that no lead is present. As EPA indicates in their answer below, if the certified renovator working for a certified firm does the testing, that firm must maintain the required documentation regarding the testing. So, if the firm that did the testing is doing the renovation, and the testing shows no lead, they can hire (subcontract to) non-certified firms and non-certified workers to do the work.
Here is one question and answer I found on the EPA FAQ page to help clarify:
Question: If a certified renovator using an EPA-recognized test kit determines that the components that will be affected by a renovation are free of lead-based paint, can a firm that does not have RRP certification do the actual renovation work? What record-keeping requirements would apply?
EPA Answer: Where a certified renovator uses an EPA-recognized test kit, follows the kit manufacturer’s instructions, tests each component affected by the renovation, and determines that the components are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead at regulated levels, the renovation can be performed by a non-certified firm and without regard to the work practice standards or record-keeping requirements of the RRP Rule. See 40 CFR 745.82(a)(2).
However, the certified renovator and firm making the lead-based paint free determination are still subject to the recordkeeping requirements of 745.86(b)(1)(ii) and 745.86(a). Specifically, the certified renovator must prepare a record that states the brand of test kit used, the components tested, and results of the tests. The certified renovator’s firm must retain a copy of this record for three years. EPA further recommends that the firm actually performing the renovation also retain a copy of these records to demonstrate that compliance with the RRP Rule was not required.
So it appears that a non-certified firm can do the work if testing that proved no lead was found was done by someone else, as long as the determination was made by a certified lead inspector or risk assessor, or by a certified renovator using an EPA recognized test kit and following the kit manufacturer’s instructions. The key is however, that the non-certified firm must have written proof from the person or business that did the testing that there is no lead in the work areas to be disturbed.
So, here is the rub.
If you are a certified firm and have a certified renovator do the testing, and you give the homeowner a copy of the testing report you create, that homeowner could then hire a non-certified firm to do the work because that homeowner and the non-certified firm they hire can use your test results to avoid RRP firm and work requirements. Think about this before you test and make your own best decision about if and when you will test during the sales process.