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: New Understandings About The Required RRP Work Practices

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Making RRP Easier - New Understandings About RRP Work Practices

 

Dean Lovvorn, lead inspector

 

 

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. 

This blog post is a follow-up to a previous RRPedia Guest Blog where Dean listed several differences between the work practices taught in the required Certified Renovator class and what he found is actually required in the RRP rule.

 

Making RRP Easier - New Understandings About RRP Work Practices

RRP ideas

 

 

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.  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.     

 

I was probably dozing off in the 8 hour renovator class, but after these discoveries, I began to clarify some new understandings.

  • On exterior containment set-ups, all I really needed to do was put plastic on the ground, be sure windows & doors were closed, cover any doors within 20 feet with plastic and put out a warning sign.  If there are no doors and/or windows within 20 feet, simply put plastic on the ground and a warning sign up.  Nothing else needed.
  • On interior containment set-ups, I just needed to do the same as the exterior (except 6 feet out from where I was working).  If there were no furniture/objects or ducts within the 6 foot area … I didn’t have to go any further.  Be sure to tape down the plastic on the floor.

Of course, if I was doing some really dusty work, I made the containment (work area) larger, but other than that, it was pretty quick, easy and simple if you were to ask me.

 

Following are some examples of how reading the actual law has helped me.

Siding Replacement

RRP Vertical containmentIn this example, I would place 3.5 mil plastic (from Home Depot), instead of the 6 mil plastic 10 feet out on the ground.  Then, I would make sure doors/windows were closed, put plastic over any doors and then put up the warning sign.  I would also run a plastic runner out to the dumpster and surround the ground around the dumpster with plastic.  Doing the containment this way, saves me from having to wrap, bag or HEPA vac the siding (or myself).  This is because I can dump the siding without ever going outside the containment area.

If exterior vertical containment is needed a simple solution (pictured to right) can be done.

Replacing Door Slabs

If my job is to replace 15 door slabs, I simply do this without following RRP.  This is because the only area I am disturbing on each door is the hinge area and since it falls under the Minor Repair and Maintenance Activities, RRP is not required.  This insight came from the FAQ section of the EPA web site.

Bathroom Remodel (Total Gut)

RRP Work Area Containment for a BathroomI can demo the tile, tub, shower, toilet and remove the demolition debris without doing any RRP.  After that has been done, I cover up ducts with plastic,  make sure windows are closed, close doors and cover with plastic, put up a warning sign and then cover the subfloor with plastic (6 feet out from where I will be working). 

I put the demoed walls, cabinets and trim into trash cans (with lids on top) and HEPA vac the outside of the trash cans (along with myself) before taking them out of the containment area.

Note:  If I’m lucky and there is an exit door (to the outside) close by … I could run plastic to the door, then outside to the dumpster.  This way, I wouldn’t need to worry about containing the demolition debris.

Normally, I do the final clean-up, visual inspection and cleaning verification after demolition; so that I can officially end RRP and let non-certified electricians/plumbers/sub-contractors into the work area.

 

Conclusion

Selling RRPIt very well could be that if you did a little homework by reading the actual law, you could reduce the cost of compliance on many jobs to less than 5%.  Few contractors will lose a job because they are higher by less than 5%.  Plus, with the cost less than 5%, I don’t even mention RRP to my clients during the estimation process anymore, which has helped to improve sales. 

 

Topics: Production Considerations, EPA RRP for Dummies, Containment Considerations, Subcontractor Considerations, Sales Considerations, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

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

Will Reinstating the RRP Opt Out Provision Really Help Your Business?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Mar 11, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Will Reinstating the RRP Opt Out Provision Really Help Your Business?

Recently Legislation introduced by Senator Inhofe (R) in Bill 2148, the ‘‘Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012’’, among other amendments within the bill, included reinstating the RRP opt out provision that was previously removed when the Sierra Club sued the EPA back in 2009. There is certainly some difference of opinion within the industry regarding whether reinstating the RRP opt out provision makes sense and or will actually be beneficial.   A recent guest blog on RRPedia by Peter Lawton triggered comments from many in favor and against the opt out.  One commenter admitted he was originally in favor of the opt out but was rethinking his position after reading Peter’s blog post.

So, will the opt out actually help businesses?  Maybe.  Maybe not...

RRP Rule problemsI suggest the real problem is that the original rule was poorly conceived and poorly written. Because we are now stuck with it, the proposed amendments are really just band-aid approaches to try to make it better for or more palatable to those affected by the rule. What we really need is a new well thought out rule to replace the existing rule, with the input and leadership of the industry this time.  And, the industry needs to be proactive this time in its writing, its content and its enforcement.

That said it is not likely that the rule will be abandoned and replaced by EPA.   Doing so would be an embarrassment to EPA because it would essentially be admitting it had screwed up.    So, we have to deal with trying to improve upon the existing rule.

Here are several considerations that need to be recognized if the Opt-Out becomes available again:

  • Lead paint contaminationNot using lead safe practices on a pre 1978 property is a big risk.  Unless the house is pretested before renovations there is no point of reference regarding existing contamination. If lead safe work practices are not used, how will the business prove it did not cause the contamination?
  • If not following the RRP protocols and documenting work practices, the contractor will not be able to provide a preponderance of evidence in his/her favor if accused by the client and or their children of lead related problems after a renovation.
  • If the contractor allows a client’s use of the opt out the business and the business owner will still be responsible and liable for damages if the work done by employee well as sub contractors contaminates the house during the work.
  • If the home is pre 1978 and is not tested for lead, the contractor must still assume it has lead and must follow OSHA requirements to protect workers and sub contractors. 
  • Are your employees aware of the above point?   What would they do and how will your business be affected if they do become aware and contact OSHA and/or have their blood checked for lead?

RRP Opt out considerations

 

Not having to follow the RRP rule might just create more problems and risks than following it.   The home owner can choose the opt out to avoid the extra cost.  A contractor can also choose to opt out on the opt out.  If you’re a renovator what will you do regarding the opt out and why?

 


Topics: Sales Considerations, Compliance Options, Legal Considerations, Documentation Considerations, EPA RRP Rule Updates, Amendments, Opinions from Renovators, Opt Out Related

Information, Resources and Instructions About Working Lead-Safe

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Information, Resources and Instructions About Working Lead-Safe

Lead safe linksThe following is a partial list of links you can use to find information, resources and instructions for working lead safe.  This information can be used by renovators, landlords, tenants and homeowners.  I suggest checking them out.  I found many good work practices, ideas and options to consider that were not offered or discussed in the required Certified Renovator Training class.  Renovators may also find some of the documents valuable to share with prospects and clients when discussing pre-1978 renovations and or if the prospect is considering doing all or part of the work themselves.

 

If you know of other links to value information worth sharing please leave a comment at the end of this blog and I will add them to the list below.

 

Lead safe work practicesLinks to Information,Resources and Instructions About Working Lead-Safe

A Guide to working safely with residential lead paint

Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance and Renovation Work

How to Safely Change a Lead Contaminated HEPA Vac Bag

OSHA standards for cleaning a respirator apply to EPA RRP work

What do I need to know about Respirators when doing EPA RRP work?

What You Don’t Know About Respirators and Probably Would Rather Not Know

Restricted Practices and Prohibited Practices under the EPA RRP Rule

RRP Demo and Asbestos Removal Share Similar Risks and Work Practices

A Fast, Clean and Safe Way to Remove Lead Paint

How to Safely Use a HEPA Vacuum and Change a Contaminated Bag

 

Topics: Production Considerations, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Info for Landlords

What to do if EPA Sends You a Request for RRP Information

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Feb 05, 2012 @ 06:00 AM

What to do if EPA Sends You a Request for Information

Recently I found an article written by Anne E. Viner, a principle attorney at the Chicago law firm of Much Shelist, P.C.  In her article Anne offers several practical tips for responding to governmental requests for information.  I thought her article was well written, straight forward and easy for a contractor to understand.   I got her permission to share some highlights here on RRPedia.

Anne E. Viner, Much Shelist, P.C.Anne points out that EPA Administrator Lisa was quoted to say “EPA is back on the job" and that EPA has received the largest enforcement budget in its history, making it more likely that your business will be subject to some type of investigation.
Below are some practical tips from Anne to keep in mind when your business receives a request for information from any government agency, not just from EPA regarding the RRP Rule.  (I have summarized quite a bit, click here to see her full article.)  This information should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

  • Don’t respond to verbal requests:  It is important to get all requests in writing, so that all parties clearly understand the scope of the information sought and the time period covered by the request.  Without a written request, you risk being accused of failing to fully comply with a verbal request that you may have simply misunderstood. Asking the government to put its inquiry in writing is within your rights.

  • Determine if the government has authority to seek the information requested: Help with RRP Although a written request for information should specify the statutory authority for the request, don't assume that the agency actually has the cited authority.   Knowing the source of the government's authority for the request, as well as determining the applicability of the request to your business, is imperative in both limiting the scope of your response and protecting your business interests with customers and other parties that may be affected by the request.

  • Voluntary compliance versus litigation:  Your business should be aware of the pros and cons of voluntary compliance versus requiring the government to follow more formal procedures such as issuing a subpoena or filing a lawsuit. Generally, cooperation is the better course at the early stages of an investigation. On the flip side, refusing to voluntarily comply with a governmental request may subject you to higher scrutiny and or administrative penalties.  Of course, cooperation is not always an option, so understanding the risks of fighting with the government is essential at the outset.

  • Assume your company is a target and involve counsel early in the process:  Regardless of the apparent target of the government's inquiry, assume that your business is, in fact, under investigation and may be subject to fines, penalties or otherwise embroiled in a civil or criminal enforcement action.  An experienced environmental attorney can help advise your business concerning its rights and responsibilities.

  • Be honest:  As we all learned in childhood, honesty is the best policy.  Handling the request in an inappropriate manner could result in claims of obstruction of justice, interfering with investigations, or other types of administrative and civil violations.

Topics: Compliance Options, Enforcement and Inspections, Legal Considerations, OSHA - EPA Challenges

Labels, Signs and Printers for RRP – and Beyond: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Labels, Signs and Printers for RRP – and Beyond

 

Steve Stephenson, Duralabel

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger: Steve Stephenson is the Managing Director for Graphic Products at DuraLabel

 

You’ve been reading about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule which requires contractors performing renovation, repair and painting (RRP) projects that disturb lead-based paint in dwellings where children under six and/or pregnant women live to be certified and follow particular work practices including using signs and labels to prevent lead contamination.

EPA 40 CFR 745.85 states that firms must post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area. These signs must be in the primary language of the occupants. The signs must be posted before beginning the renovation and must remain in place and readable until the renovation and the post-renovation cleaning verification is completed.

The EPA says that signs and labels must adhere to this hierarchy:

  • The word “Warning” must be placed at the top of the sign
  • Underneath “Warning,” the sign must say “Lead Work Area”
  • Under that, “Poison”
  • Finally, under “Poison,” the sign must say “No drinking, eating or smoking”

These types of warning signs and labels typically may be purchased pre-printed in bulk. Other types of signs are also often required. These are custom signs and labels for commercial jobs, final inspections and re-labeling painted pipes and drains. There are a number of approaches to making these signs and labels, too.  

Consider:

  • How frequently you’ll need to create new signs and labels
  • How critical is visibility? Weather-resistance?
  • Sign and label placement – indoors or outdoors?
  • The ability to bring your printer to the jobsite for on the fly labels

The new DuraLabel Toro printer, for example, is battery-powered for mobility, comes with software for pipe marking and custom label design and prints one half inch to four inch wide labels at any length. Light adhesive tape supplies are repositionable and adhere to a variety of surfaces and textures – important when you need to place a label on a wall or in a kitchen that you’re in the midst of preparing to paint.

“I think that being able to re-apply the signs is a huge advantage as walls and finish surfaces tend to change during construction,” said Geoffrey Shafer, PEGASUS Design-To-Build.

As many contractors fit the DIY profile, we’re pretty sure that they’ll opt for creating their own signs and labels when they need them.

 

For more information about the DuraLabel family of mobile printers and rugged supplies for contractors, contact Steve Stephenson, Managing Director, Graphic Products and visit www.DuraLabel.com.

Topics: OSHA Considerations, Compliance Options, Tools and Supplies, Guest Blogs, Signage

If a Lead Test Indicates No Lead, Can A Non-Certified Firm Do The Work?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, May 30, 2011 @ 06:00 PM

If An EPA Recognized Lead Test Kit Indicates No Lead, Can A Non-Certified Firm Do The Work?

Lead tesing for RRP

 

 

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.

 

Lead paint testingSo 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.

 

 

EPA RRP Logo 

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.

Topics: RRP Questions, Subcontractor Considerations, Sales Considerations, Compliance Options, Firm Certification, Lead Test Kits and Testing, Info for Landlords

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

A Fast, Clean and Safe Way to Remove Lead Paint: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Apr 10, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

A Fast, Clean and Safe Way to Remove Lead Paint

Catherine Brooks

One Person’s Opinion: Catherine Brooks, MBA is the owner of a small business, Eco-Strip LLC since 2003. Previous to starting this second business, she owned a consulting practice and worked for 20 years with small private companies, local and state governments, and OSHA. Her specialties were public health, recycling, and executive training. She comes from the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. There she learned the hard way that moisture can destroy a paint job. She regrets that she power-washed her older home several years ago and SOON will now have to repaint it.  

 

A Fast, Clean and Safe Way to Remove Lead Paint

Good painters know that surface preparation before repainting is critical for quality and longevity of new paint. They also know that thick paint removal is a pain. Plus, most paint applied before 1978 is lead-based. With the new EPA's RRP rule, dry abrasive methods such as power sanding, power planing, and mechanical scraping without vacuum attachments are prohibited; so is high temperature heat gun usage. These methods create and disperse lead dust, chips, and vapors which are seriously harmful to children and adults. Some contractors are upset with the requirements imposed by RRP, but the US is way behind European countries in regard to lead paint safety.

 

Airborne leaded dust chart

 

In the late 1980s, a safer and more eco-friendly method was developed in Sweden by a historic restoration painter. This method uses mid-range, infrared heat waves to heat both the substrate and the paint at a lower temperature. Therefore, it greatly reduces the hazards of removing lead-based paint in three ways:

  1. Metallic lead vaporizes at 1,100°F (the temperature at which high heat guns operate). The mid-range infrared heat waves heat the paint and wood only to 400-600º F. Dangerous lead fumes are not released. 
  2. Containing lead dust is difficult and costly but critical to prevent operator, building occupants, and the environment from being contaminated. The scraping of the soft paint created by the infrared heat generates minimum dust; dry scraping, sanding or shaving paint creates lots.
  3. The soft paint scrapings clump together and drop onto a plastic sheeting; they are easier to contain and bag up. While pressure washing surfaces may be faster, it leaves water full of paint chips in the work area’s soil, making it difficult to clean up without removing the top soil itself. Use of toxic or non-toxic chemical paint removers leaves messy goo also difficult to contain.

Dry scraping lead paintAnother key consideration in paint removal is the impact on wood, especially old, more valuable wood. Chemicals leach out natural resins and leave residue even after rinsing. High heat (1,100ºF) guns force paint pigment back into the wood and risk scorching and igniting wood. Sanding and shaving leave gouge and burn marks if not done skillfully. Pressure washing and new steam paint removal methods often leave irregular surface marks in the wood, drive moisture back into the wood, and create layers of “gray wood” which must be scraped away and or they will threaten the adherence of new paint.  All of these methods can damage wood.

Infrared heat paint removal can be the gentlest process on the wood. The infrared heat penetrates into the wood and pulls up natural resins, paint, and moisture deep within and rejuvenates the old wood. Yet, the lower temperature of 400-600° F. minimizes the risk of scorching the wood or catching it on fire. The stories of these heat gun fires are legendary.

Infrared paint removal The time for the entire surface preparation process is reduced using the infrared heat method. Set up, operation, and cleanup are faster than with other methods. There is no extra time for rinsing, neutralization, drying, or sanding the wood; it is immediately ready for primer.

Since there are several brands of infrared paint removers on the market, look for these qualities:

  • UL listing to verify safety testing.
  • Shock absorbers to reduce bulb breakage.
  • Automatic, overheat shut-off mechanism to prevent damage to the machine and the wood and to prevent paint overheating.
  • Built-in safety shields extending beyond the infrared bulbs that set the correct distance between the bulbs and the painted wood. These shields eliminate the operator’s guesswork about what distance is safe yet effective and also reduce overheating.
  • Comprehensive instruction materials and training videos to assure quick operator proficiency, safe operation, and proper maintenance of the machine.

Infrared heat for paint removal is a new technology whose time has come. Preservation of older homes rather than demolition is growing. People are choosing to rejuvenate their old homes for aesthetic, historic, and ecological reasons. Infrared paint removal offers a safer, gentler, and more ecological method to remove lead-based paint and bringing old wood back to life.

Contact: Catherine Brooks, Eco-Strip LLC with questions at cbrooks@eco-strip.com. Further information is at www.eco-strip.com

Topics: Technology for Remodelers, Work Practice Exclusions, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Tools and Supplies, Guest Blogs

5 Things Your RRP Trainer Probably Forgot To Tell You: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

5 Things Your RRP Trainer Probably Forgot To Tell You

Janet Kerley

 

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Janet M. Kerley to express her opinion.  Janet M. Kerley, CHMM is the Lead Pb Trainer for the Santa Fe Community College Lead Training Program. In her spare time, she developed the smartphone app, RRP Comply,  to assist contractors in stepping through the RRP requirements. If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.  

 

5 Things Your RRP Trainer Probably Forgot To Tell You

EPA Logo

 

The EPA (with HUD) developed the standardized Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule courses to train contractors on how to comply with the RRP Rule.  As an experienced environmental professional, I believe the training materials leave out some critical information that contractors should know about how the EPA actually enforces its regulations.  Here are some additional recommendations that I provide in my classes to assist contractors in preparing to meet the EPA:

  • Keep RRP documents and records separate from your project notes and financial records.   
  • Keep RRP documents and records readily available.
  • Document (take a photo, write a memo-to-file, get a signature, get copies of certificates, etc.) on all RRP requirements.
  • Pay attention to and stick to the established deadlines within the RRP.
  • Work closely with other contractors on the job to maintain consistency in all RRP recordkeeping.
  • Establish a clear pattern of compliance within your company and your subcontractors.

While EPA inspectors might actually show up at your job site, the most probable scenario is they will show up at your office and ask to review your records for the previous three years.  Let me explain why I make the above recommendations.


The EPA typically uses a variety of economic models (ABEL, BEN, INDIPAY, MUNIPAY, PROJECT) to calculate fines and penalties for violators. Handing the EPA inspector your costs and profit information in your project file just makes their job easier.  If they find a violation, there is an established procedure for requesting company financial information during the enforcement process.  


Since we are in the implementation phase of RRP, there are still many gray areas in the rule that will get resolved over the next three to five years.  Until then, keeping your project notes separate from the required recordkeeping prevents an inexperienced regulator from jumping on a misplaced word in your documents.


RRP paperworkThe definition of ‘readily available’ varies widely. For example, OSHA allows up to 24 hours for businesses to produce some types of required records.  When the EPA inspector walks in and asks for your RRP documents, you should be able to open a file drawer, pull out a box, or hand them a CD with all of your records within a 15 to 30 minute time frame.  Otherwise, they pull out their ticket book and start writing violations.


RRP SignEPA does not allow hearsay compliance. If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.  You can stand there and tell them that you used containment on every job.  But, a picture of your jobsites with you pointing to the warning sign outside your containment demonstrates compliance beyond any doubt. Pictures are worth a thousand words…and don’t forget to set your date and time stamp on your photo.


EPA loves to catch us on the dates.  For example, contractors are required to provide the Lead Test Documents to the client within 30 days of completion of the project.  We have a training slide that says that but the provided form does not have a location to document receipt of the test results. I recommend you insert a line that says ‘Received By’ with a place for your client’s signature and date in the Client Information box on the Lead Test Documentation form.  Perform the test, hand it to your client to sign, and then make copies.  


Arrange to meet with all other renovators, subcontractors, specialty craftsmen on the project to determine who is going to be the Assigned Renovator.  Coordinate with all companies on a LBP project before, during and after to make sure everyone’s documentation is correct and complete.  It only takes one bad apple for the EPA to dig into everybody’s apple crate.


By keeping timely, correct, and proper documentation on your projects that fall under the RRP Rule requirements, you can establish a pattern of compliance.  If your recordkeeping is available, comprehensive to the rule’s requirements, and somewhat orderly, the EPA inspector will not be inclined to dig too deep to find minor non-conformances.  

 
RRP Records

 

 

Remember: The LBP job is not done until the paperwork is complete.  It can be a very costly mistake. 

Topics: Compliance Options, Enforcement and Inspections, Documentation Considerations, Guest Blogs