Welcome to RRPedia
Your Interactive Resource for EPA RRP Information

RRPedia logoLooking for accurate information about the EPA RRP rule?

RRPedia has been created by Shawn McCadden to help remodelers and others affected by the New EPA Renovation Repair and Painting Rule. 

Please read RRPedia Use and Contribution Information before using or contributing to RRPedia.

 


You Can Browse For RRP Topics By Using The Tags List To The Right

Guest Blog: The RRP Training Suggests More Than The Rule Requires

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Guest Blog: Making RRP Easier – The RRP Training Suggests Doing Way More Than The Rule Requires

Dean Lovvorn

 

 

 

Guest Blogger: Dean Lovvorn is a residential remodeler who has done numerous RRP projects.  He is also a Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor and EPA RRP Renovator Instructor.

 

Making RRP Easier – The RRP Training Suggests Doing Way More Than The Rule Requires

RRP work Practices

 

Back in April 2010, I had an exterior remodeling job that was put on hold for a day because of heavy rains.  In my boredom, I decided to read the actual RRP law from start to finish.  Honestly, it was like watching paint dry (incredibly boring). 

However, as I continued reading, I soon discovered that what I was taught in my 8 hour class and what was in the student manual wasn’t necessarily in the actual law itself.

 

 

My Discoveries - In the actual law I found:


  1. RRP RespiratorThere was no mention of having to wear disposable suits, dust mask, booties or headwear. (Still might need to comply with OSHA)
  2. That I didn’t have to put construction debris in a heavy duty plastic bag.  I had to at final clean-up, but not when taking out demolition debris.
  3. There was no requirement to put plastic over windows.
  4. That there was no mention of putting yellow warning tape at 20 feet out on exterior jobs.
  5. That on many jobs, the only paperwork required was a signed receipt of the Renovate Right booklet and completing the record keeping checklist.  This takes me about 5 minutes to do.
  6. Homeowners ignoring RRP RuleIt didn’t say I had to use 6 mil plastic, which made me happy since the 3.5 mil plastic sold at Home Depot cost less.
  7. I didn’t have to mention (if I didn’t want to) anything about RRP during my sales presentations or while giving estimates.  This was especially helpful, because clients don’t want to hear about being lead poisoned … they want to hear about their beautiful renovation.

Watch for Dean's next guest blog where he describes the work practices he now uses to make RRP easier at the job site


Topics: Production Considerations, EPA RRP for Dummies, Certified Renovator Training, Containment Considerations, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

Special NARI Work Group Reports Findings on RRP

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Jun 26, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

The following information is from the NARI Government Affairs Committee’s newsletter of June 23, 2011 titled “NARI on the Hill”.  

 

NARI Work Group Findings on LRRP

NARI and RRPFrom March through June 2011, a dedicated work group of NARI members regularly convened for the purpose of documenting challenges in the application of EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP Rule).  NARI's purpose is to convey to the EPA what is working and what is not working in implementation and to make recommendations.  The work group identified the following prioritized concerns with recommendations:

 

Concern #1

The rule application is presented as a "one size fits all" and fails to provide guidance on the varying conditions often found on job sites.

Recommendation #1

The EPA should revise the rule to define the desired outcomes and provide a tool box of options to address varying conditions.

 

Concern #2

The cost of compliance is driving homeowners to either DIY or hire an uncertified renovator thus defeating the purpose and intent of the rule.  Also, the rule does not address the contractor's responsibility when the work of disturbing lead paint has been undertaken and completed by the homeowner or an uncertified contractor. 

Recommendation #2

The EPA needs to educate the general public about the rule, clarify the contractor's responsibility under this scenario, and assess the impact of homeowner-initiated projects on childhood lead poisoning.

 

Concern #3

The EPA lacks an effective method of providing updates and information on the rule.  The website housing over 600 FAQs is not a feasible communications tool.

Recommendation #3

EPA and states with oversight should provide a regular newsletter with necessary updates.  The website should be overhauled addressing the topical information needs of the user.

 

Concern #4

The rule is not clear on the training and certification requirements for subcontractors used by the certified renovator.

Recommendation #4

The EPA should clarify the responsibilities of subcontractors and define a "certified renovator of record" as a single point of contact throughout the project. 

 

Concern #5

The model training program is not consistent with the current rule.  Curriculum and materials do not reflect amendments.

Recommendation #5

The EPA must exercise responsibility in properly maintaining training curriculum and material content.

 

 Why we convened a Work Group: to inform various entities in Washington about the issues with regard to this regulation.  Since regulatory reform is a hot topic in Washington right now, the time is right to share these findings and garner more support. When trying to bring an issue to light in Washington, officials want current data to review, so the Work Group convened for a current, detailed analysis and NARI is sharing recommendations of the Work Group in Washington.

 

A copy of the complete report is available by request by e-mailing: gac@nari.org.

 

Topics: Certified Renovator Training, Subcontractor Considerations, Legal Considerations, Work Practices, Effects of the RRP Rule

Do My Sub Contractors Need To Be RRP Certified?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, May 27, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Do My Sub Contractors Need To Be RRP Certified?

RRP Certification requirements for subsThere has been a lot of confusion regarding the details of the EPA RRP rule.  One that seems to pop up over and over is certification requirements for sub contractors.  There are two different certification considerations regarding sub contractors; firm certification and worker certification.  Let’s take a look at each separately.

 

 

Firm Certification for Sub Contractors:

The EPA is very clear on this.  The following question and answer comes from the EPA web site’s FAQ page:

Question: My firm performs renovations covered by the RRP rule, but solely in the capacity of a subcontractor. If the general contractor is a certified firm, does my firm also have to be certified, or can we just provide the certified renovator?

EPA Answer: All firms performing, offering, or claiming to perform renovations covered by the RRP rule must be certified. In this case, both the general contractor and subcontractor must become certified firms.  

 

Certified Firm requirementsWhether working for the general contractor as a trade partner or a 1099 sales person (offers the work), sub contractors must become certified firms by apply for certification through the EPA.   Ensuring that the subs they use are certified firms is particularly important for general contractors, because as part of the required documentation under the rule, the renovation checklist must include the names of all workers who participated in RRP activities on the job.  If a sub contractor and his workers do work on the job and the sub’s firm is not certified, the EPA will easily be able to find both the general contractor and the sub in violation of the rule.  If a general contractor knows that subs must be certified firms, hiring a non-certified firm to work on a job becomes a knowing and willful violation of the rule, which brings with it serious penalties.  It’s also one easy way for a customer’s lawyer to suggest the contractor is/was negligent.

Note: Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have this same requirement for sub contractors. 

 

Worker Certification for Sub Contractors:

Again, the EPA is very clear on this.  The following question and answer comes from the EPA web site’s FAQ page:

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?

EPA 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.    

 

Who is Liable, The General Contractor or the Sub?

The following question and answer provides clarification regarding the responsibility and liability of the business that is acting as the general contractor:

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?

EPA 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.

Note: The answer above also applies in Massachusetts, but does not apply in Rhode Island.  In Rhode Island, the RI Lead Hazard Control Standard (Section 14.0) requires the Licensed Lead Hazard Control Firm (LHCF) to have a RI licensed Lead-Safe Remodeler/Renovator (LRM) designee as a condition of licensure.

Topics: RRP Questions, Worker Training, Certified Renovator Training, Subcontractor Considerations, Compliance Options, Legal Considerations, RI Conciderations, Firm Certification, MA RRP Lead Rules

EPA Decides Trainers Can Use Either Test Kit at RRP Training Classes

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 @ 07:00 AM

EPA Decides RRP Trainers Can Use Either Test Kit at RRP Training Classes

NAHB LogoThrough my fellow NARI member contacts I have learned that on November 5, 2010, at their offices in Washington DC, the NAHB hosted a meeting with the EPA to discuss the RRP rule.   Several industry trade associations, including NARI, were in attendance at the meeting.  Also in attendance were representatives from Hybrivet Systems, Inc. and ESCA Tech, Inc. 

Lead Check Test KitHybrivet Systems, Inc. and ESCA Tech, Inc. are the manufacturers of the only two commercially available Lead Test Kits approved by EPA for use on RRP regulated renovations. Hybrivet Systems, Inc. manufactures and distributes the Lead Check test kit.  ESCA Tech, Inc. manufactures and distributes the D-Lead Test kit.  The D-Lead test kit was only recently approved for RRP use.  The Lead Check Kit has been approved since before the RRP rule came into effect on April 22, 2010.

D-Lead Test KitAt the meeting a representative from ESCA Tech, Inc asked the EPA when it was going to require that RRP training instructors demonstrate the proper use of both of the currently approved lead test kits at the EPA required Certified Renovator Training Classes.  EPA responded that they were not going to require training on both kits and instructors could decide which kit they would demonstrate at the training. 

I am an approved Certified Renovator Instructor for Massachusetts and EPA.  I and several other instructors had submitted this same question to EPA a few weeks back.   Although we still have not heard anything back from EPA, it is good that EPA has clarified this for instructors.  I hope the EPA will get this clarification out to all instructors soon.

 

Time for test kitHere is just one reason I will go with the Lead Check kits when I do RRP training.  Using the D-Lead kits will definitely take longer than using the Lead Check kits.  The certified renovator classes at eight hours long make for a long day and it is tough enough already for instructors to cover the subject matter in those eight hours.  Demonstrating and using the D-Lead kits would either cause the class to go past eight hours, or time spent on other topics would need to be cut back to keep the day at eight hours.  I know the students would rather not extend the day and I would prefer not to cut back on or eliminate any of the required subject matter.

Given the choice, I will definitely use the Lead Check Swabs in my training classes.  The main reasons for my decision, in addition to my concerns about the length of the training day, are ease of use and safety.  However, I suggest RRP certified renovator instructors decide for themselves which test kit they will use in their training classes. The same goes for renovators who plan to use test kits on RRP projects.   Both kits offer accurate testing, but both follow different protocol for testing and they both also have limitations or advantages depending on the surface or product to be tested. 

For more on the differences between the two EPA approved test kits see: Choosing Between EPA Approved Test Kits.

For written and video instructions for both test kits see: EPA Approved Lead Test Kit Instructions

Topics: Certified Renovator Training, Lead Test Kits and Testing, EPA Announcements, Info for Trainers

Videos About The EPA RRP Rule

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 @ 08:00 AM

New Shawn McCadden Videos About The EPA RRP Rule; RRP Information For Renovators

RRP Instructor Shawn McCaddenI recently completed a series of seven videos about the new EPA RRP rule. The RRP videos were done for Remodeling magazine. They are posted to the Remodeling TV area of Remodeling magazine’s web site.

The videos are sponsored by The Home Depot. The video series is titled “The Insider's Guide to the EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule”. The series covers critical information about the Environmental Protection Agency's RRP rule and certification process, and explains how the rule may affect your business.

I had a lot of fun doing the videos. Lots of great people donated their time, knowledge and expertise. I also learned a lot from Chuck Green of Perpetual Motion Pictureswriting the script, interviewing contributors, editing the script with the magazine’s editor Sal Alfano, reviewing the raw footage, and working with the videographer, Chuck Greeen of Perpetual Motion Pictures. Working with Chuck was a unique advantage. As a fellow remodeler and Certified Renovator, Chuck not only filmed and edited the videos, he also contributed greatly to the content and success of the whole project.

Here is a list of the videos, a brief description of what is discussed in each as well as links to view them:

Video One: The EPA RRP Rule and Your Business

This video covers the business responsibilities, associated liabilities and risks related to the RRP Rule. Kermit Baker, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies stresses that remodelers need to become experts in this area or leave the work to others who are. Attorney Mike Sams of Kenney & Sams, P.C. warns about the legal liabilities for failure to follow the regulations. Shawn McCadden discusses the firm and worker certification process, related fees as well as certified renovator and firm responsibilities.

 

Video Two: RRP Training

This video covers the worker training requirements of the rule and the content of the EPA Certified Renovator training class. Shawn McCadden also discusses the importance and benefits of choosing a training class conducted by a training instructor with real life renovation experience.

 

Video Three: EPA RRP Notification Requirements

The EPA RRP rule specifies certain notification requirements depending on where the work is done and who occupies and or visits the building being renovated. This video covers these requirements, related firm documentation requirements as well as the information and documentation that must be given to property owners and others. Shawn McCadden also discusses many of the important details that must be included in the required documentation.

 

Video Four: RRP Work Practices

This video includes a summary of the required lead-safe work practices required under the RRP Rule. Shawn McCadden walks through critical considerations related to the rule that must be followed to stay in compliance with the rule, protect occupants and workers and to control costs. Shawn also discusses interior and exterior cleaning and cleaning verification requirements.

 

Video Five: RRP Record Keeping

Inspection of the required documentation under the rule will be a major enforcement tool used by EPA. In this video Shawn McCadden discusses the required documentation related to worksite activities as well as many business administration activities. Mark Paskell of the Contractor Coaching Partnership shares a few of the many methods EPA will have at their disposal to inspect and verify a firm’s compliance with the rule. Shawn adds several more methods to Mark’s list and also discusses the penalties and fines EPA can assess on violators.

 

Video Six: Exemptions to RRP Work Practices

In this video Shawn McCadden gives examples of when, where and why the RRP rule and work practices are not required under the rule. Shawn stresses that even if the work practices are not required under the RRP rule, your business will still be liable if lead poisoning and or contamination results from the way work is performed. Shawn and contractor insurance expert Tom Messier of Mason and Mason Insurance both stress the importance of verifying proper and adequate insurance coverage to protect your business, available coverage options as well as related costs for coverage.

 

Video Seven: Business Considerations and Summary

Shawn Mccadden stresses that this new rule is a game changer. Shawn tells us businesses must take this new rule seriously and adjust their business practices accordingly to protect profits and control liabilities. Mark Paskell of the Contractor Coaching Partnership stresses that contractors should verify that the documentation forms they use will comply with the rule and also assist the business in managing and performing the work. Gerry McGonagle of Belfor Property Restoration offers his advice on qualifying the right employees to do the work. Shawn also discusses some of the new responsibilities the rule brings with it for employees in all positions within the business.

If you are looking for forms and signage to help you with comply with the EPA RRP rule, I recommend you check out what The Lead Paint Forms Store has to offer.

Topics: EPA RRP Lead Rules, EPA RRP for Dummies, Business Considerations, Work Practice Exclusions, Worker Training, Certified Renovator Training, Enforcement and Inspections, Legal Considerations, Work Practices, Documentation Considerations, Firm Certification, Insurance Considerations, Videos

Doing EPA RRP Work? OSHA Will Be Watching For You.

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

Compliance With and Enforcement of the RRP Rule Will Be Assisted By OSHA Inspectors

OSHA LogoIn addition to the OSHA rules contractors should already have been aware of related to worker safety, the EPA RRP rule has added yet additional OSHA concerns for renovators.  One for example is working on a surface covered with plastic. OSHA considerations related to working on plastic are not part of the curriculum delivered during the required EPA certified renovator training. Due to the absence of this information, the EPA is essentially leaving it up to renovators to become aware of such considerations on their own.  Once aware, renovators must seek out the information they need and adjust their work practices accordingly to avoid fines from OSHA should they get randomly inspected.   Or worse, have a worker accident. 

keep right wrThis begs a few questions.  First, were the authors ignorant of such considerations?  Asked another way, does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?  Is this another example of a breakdown in communication between very significant departments of our government charged to look out for our best interests?  A second question might be; did the authors of the EPA RRP rule leave this information out of the rule for a strategic purpose?  Perhaps this is just one more way to force small independent businesses out of the construction industry in favor or labor unions. 

In one of his recent blogs, RRP certification training provider and business coach, Mark Paskell of The Contractor Coaching Partnership, shares a real life story about a contractor who was visited, at the same time, by both an OSHA inspector as well as an inspector from the Massachusetts Department of Occupational Safety (DOS).  (Massachusetts has assumed administration and enforcement of the RRP rule from EOPA)  In the blog Mark describes the battle that took place between the OSHA inspector and the DOS inspector about the use of plastic on the jobsite. Check out the blog to see which inspector retreated. 

Warning SignOf bigger concern should be the distribution of misinformation at the certified renovator training.  For example, using the sample signage included in the EPA approved training manual (required to be posted outside contained work areas), might just get you in trouble with OSHA.  First off the RRP rule requires the use of a “warning” sign, but the sample sign is a “caution” sign.  OSHA considers a warning sign to be a stronger message than a caution sign, and has rules dictating when and how to choose one versus the other. 

Also, if you have employees, the sample sign in the manual will not meet OSHA requirements either.  Employees must be told what they are being warned about on such signs, in this case lead, and the signs must also instruct the employees not to smoke, eat, or drink in a work area assumed to contain lead.  Check out this article by Dick Hughes of Excellence in Safety for a list of other OSHA requirements left out of the RRP rule. 

The RRP is challenging enough to comply with.  Contractors putting their heads in the sand about OSHA requirements and compliance are taking a huge risk.  I am planning on taking some OSHA training classes to learn more about what contractors must need to be aware of and what they will need to do to avoid risking violations and fines.  I will post information about this subject to RRPedia in the future.   If you have not done so already, you can subscribe to RRPedia at the top of this page.   Subscribers will be notified by e-mail as soon as new articles are posted.

If you are looking for forms and signage to help you with comply with the EPA RRP rule, I recommend you check out what The Lead Paint Forms Store has to offer.

Topics: EPA RRP Lead Rules, RRP in MA, Certified Renovator Training, OSHA Considerations, Containment Considerations, Enforcement and Inspections, Shawn's Predictions, Effects of the RRP Rule

EPA Gives Status of RRP Training and Certification Counts

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Aug 05, 2010 @ 09:40 AM

EPA Gives Status of RRP Training and Certification Counts at June LEHA Workshop


Lead Paint CansThe Lead and Environmental Hazard Association (LEHA) has been conducting a series of workshops across the country.   I attended the June 22, 2010 workshop held in Marlboro MA.  The workshops bring together representatives from federal, state and local agencies to discuss the RRP rule with interested parties including renovation contractors, lead inspectors and others in the industry providing services and or products related to the RRP.  The workshop was well attended and very informative.   The state of Massachusetts' Department of Occupational Safety (DOS) has taken delegated authority and enforcement of the rule from EPA.  Several representatives from DOS and the state were in attendance and participated in the workshop as panelists.

NARI Logo
David Merrick, NARI Government Affairs Committee Chairman, and several others from NARI attended one of the workshops on Friday, July 23 in Baltimore.   Also present at that workshop was the region 3 EPA Regional Lead Enforcement Coordinator, Annie Skidmore.


 
At the meeting EPA's Annie Skidmore brought everyone up-to-date with the latest numbers (as of the June 22nd workshop) from the EPA regarding the RRP.  Thanks to David Merrick for sharing this information with me:

  • 411,000 people have completed RRP Certified Renovator training.

  • 40,000 firms have completed firm certification with 10-20,000 applications in the pipeline.

  • EPA acknowledged that their initial estimate of the number of firms that will need to be certified and the number of workers that will need to be trained was way off the mark.  The EPA now says the 40,000 firms that are certified represent about 20% of the firms that will need to be certified.

  • There are a total of 282 Certified Training Providers, many of which travel and train nationally.

  • A total of 17,800 training courses have been held.

Topics: Worker Training, Certified Renovator Training, EPA RRP Rule Updates, Firm Certification

Concerns about misiformation at EPA RRP Certified Renovator Training

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

Not all EPA Certified Renovator training classes are equal.  The quality and effectiveness of training classes and instructors vary greatly. Contractors should seek to pre-qualify the quality of a training class and the instructor before either attending themselves or sending their employees. The right instructor can make a world of difference. 

workerWithout practical experience with the realities of remodeling, an instructor might only be book smart.   Most attendees have questions about how the work practices need to be applied to the kind(s) of work they do.  If an instructor lacks the ability to provide concrete examples and context for the work practices being taught at the class, field employees are likely to quickly lose interest and the ability to focus during the 8 hour day.

Also, contractors who have attended the training report that many trainers get off topic and as a result attendees can miss out on important information required to stay in compliance and avoid liabilities.  Some classes have even have gone well beyond the scheduled end time, which can be costly if you are paying employees for their time to attend. 

Make sure cost is not your only deciding factor.  Just like choosing a good remodeler, referrals and references can be the best way to find a good class and instructor. For more on choosing a class and instructor, click here to read one of Shawn's Remodeling magazine blogs titled: Sharing the Knowledge: Thoughts on Your RRP Training Experience?

I caught Joe Cracco of Modern Yankee Builders in Cumberland RI at the JLC LIVE Trade Show in Providence in March 2010. Joe had just completed the EPA Certified Renovator training at the show.  In this video Joe  shares his concerns about misinformation he received at the class he attended and how it could affect his and other contractor's businesses. 

 

 

Topics: Worker Training, Certified Renovator Training, Legal Considerations, Videos