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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.

 


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EPA Announces More Lead Paint Fines; This Time Against Landlords

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 @ 02:16 PM

EPA Announces More Lead Paint Violation Fines; This Time Against Landlords

 

EPA Starts RRP Enforcement

 

 

Seems EPA has started their publicity campaign regarding enforcement of RRP and other lead related regulations.  This one is not RRP specific, but as the second violation announcement this week it certainly seems to demonstrate that EPA is using enforcement and press releases to get their message out about compliance with lead paint requirements.


News Release
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office

April 11, 2012

Contact: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

 

Conn. And Mass. Based Landlords Face Fines for Failing to Notify Tenants about Lead Paint

 

(Boston, Mass. – April 11, 2012) The owners of rental properties in Bridgeport, Conn. as well as South Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester, Mass., face EPA penalties for violating federal lead paint disclosure rules. In both cases, these violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead hazards.

According to a complaint filed by EPA’s New England office, Juan Hernandez allegedly violated lead-based paint disclosure requirements seven times when he rented apartment units in Bridgeport, Conn. between 2008 and 2010.  Mr. Hernandez faces an EPA penalty of up to $127,150 for violating federal lead paint disclosure rules. During the time period relevant to EPA’s investigation, all of the apartment buildings owned by Mr. Hernandez were located in potential environmental justice areas. 

In a separate EPA complaint, Edward Franco, owner of El Paso Management, and its affiliates allegedly violated lead-based paint disclosure requirements when they rented apartment units three times in South Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchester in 2009.  Most of the tenants involved in this case live in low income and/or minority areas.

Both parties are charged with failing to give tenants required lead hazard information pamphlets, failing to include lead warning statements in leases, failing to disclose any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards, and/or failing to provide records or reports pertaining to lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards.

Federal lead disclosure rules are meant to give tenants adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint so that they can make informed decisions before signing a lease contract. Property owners leasing housing built before 1978 are required to provide the following information to tenants: the EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home; a lead warning statement; statements disclosing any known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards; and copies of all available records or reports regarding lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards.  This information must be provided to tenants before they enter into leases.

Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause developmental impairment, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems.  Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.

More information:
Lead-based paint health hazards (www.epa.gov/ne/eco/ne_lead/index.html)
Lead-based paint disclosure rule (www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/leadpaint/index.html


Click here for more RRPedia blog posts for landlords.

Shawn is available to help landlords with the RRP Rule.  If you are a landlord or belong to a landlord association that is seeking assistance with the RRP rule, contact Shawn today to discuss how he can help.


Topics: Notification Considerations, Violation Reports, EPA Announcements

EPA Publishes Their First List of RRP Violations and Fines

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Apr 06, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

EPA Fines Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

EPA RRP Press release about RRP Violations and fines

 

 

 

The following press release was sent out via email by EPA on Thursday April 5, 2012.  Click here to subscribe to and receive RRP rule specific information and updates from EPA.

 

Release Date: 04/05/2012
Contact Information: Stacy Kika, Kika.stacy@epa.gov, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and other lead rules. The RRP rule requires the use of lead-safe work practices to ensure that common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition, which can create hazardous lead dust, are conducted properly by trained and certified contractors or individuals. EPA finalized the RRP rule in 2008 and the rule took effect on April 22, 2010.

“Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems and affects our most vulnerable population, our children,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By taking action to enforce lead rules we are protecting people’s health and ensuring that businesses that follow the rules have a level playing field.”

On March 21, 2012, Colin Wentworth, a rental property owner who was responsible for building operation and maintenance, agreed to pay $10,000 to resolve violations of the RRP rule. The complaint alleged that Mr. Wentworth’s workers violated the rule by improperly using power equipment to remove paint from the exterior surface of an 1850’s apartment building he owns in Rockland, Maine. The complaint also alleged that the workers had not received any training under the rule and that Mr. Wentworth had failed to apply for firm certification with the EPA. Because the lead dust had not been properly contained, residents were potentially exposed and the dust could have also contaminated the ground surrounding the apartment building. Two of the four units in the building were rented to recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 vouchers and there were at least four children under the age of 18, including one under the age of six, living in the units. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also responded to the alleged violations.

On March 20, 2012, Valiant Home Remodelers, a New Jersey window and siding company, agreed to pay $1,500 to resolve violations from failing to follow the RRP rule during a window and siding replacement project at a home in Edison, N.J. Valiant Home Remodelers failed to contain renovation dust, contain waste, and train workers on lead-safe work practices.

On February 21, 2012, Johnson Sash and Door, a home repair company located in Omaha, Neb., agreed to pay a $5,558 penalty for failing to provide the owners or occupants of housing built prior to 1978 with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet or to obtain a written acknowledgment prior to commencement of renovation activities at five homes. The complaint also alleged that Johnson failed to obtain initial certification prior to performing renovations at these residences.

As required by the law, a company or individual’s ability to pay a penalty is evaluated and penalties are adjusted accordingly.

These recent actions are part of EPA’s effort to ensure that contractors and individuals follow the RRP requirements and other lead rules to protect people’s health from exposure to lead. Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.

More on the settlement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/tsca/tscaenfstatreq.html

More about lead: http://www.epa.gov/lead

Doreen Cantor Paster
Associate Chief, Lead, Heavy Metals, & Inorganics Branch
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (7404T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202-566-0486


Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Violation Reports, EPA Announcements

Instructions For Using LeadCheck Test Kits On Drywall And Plaster

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 @ 05:57 PM

Instructions For Using LeadCheck Lead Test Kits On Drywall And Plaster

EPA Lead Paint Rule

EPA has recently updated recognition of the 3M™ LeadCheck™ for use on drywall and plaster. Currently-recognized test kits, with information including substrates upon which they can be used, can be found at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/testkit.htm.

 

Lead Check Lead Test Kit

Please note that all EPA-recognized test kits must be used following the manufacturers’ instructions for the applicable substrate.


NOTE: FOR USE ON PLASTER AND DRYWALL, users of 3M™ LeadCheck™ should download updated instructions for using the test kit on plaster and drywall. The updated procedure for testing plaster and drywall is slightly different than the procedure used previously.

 

Instructions for using LeadCheck on drywall and plaster

Download the instructions here

 

3M™ LeadCheck™ test kits shipped to retail outlets after April 1, 2012, will contain the updated instructions. Kits purchased prior to April 1, 2012, or that contain the older instructions can still be used but the user must follow the updated instructions when testing plaster and drywall.

 


Topics: Tools and Supplies, EPA RRP Rule Updates, Lead Test Kits and Testing, EPA Announcements

LeadCheck Test Kits Now Recognized For Use On Drywall and Plaster

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 @ 10:21 PM

LeadCheck Lead Test Kits Now Recognized For Use On Drywall and Plaster

 

LeadCheck Test kit now approved for use on Drywall and Plaster

 

According to the EPA web site 3M's LeadCheck test kit is now recognized for use on drywall and plaster.  This will definitely be helpful for those renovators doing RRP work who prefer using the LeadCheck swabs.  Before EPA recognized the use of the LeadCheck test kits for drywall and plaster, renovators could only use the D-Lead Test Kits, the only other recognized test kit available to RRP renovators.  As a result of this change by EPA, now renovators have their choice of two test kits that are recognized by EPA for use on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), or drywall and plaster surfaces under the RRP Rule.

 

LeadCheck Lead Test Swab

 

Here is what is now posted on the EPA web site:

NOTE: The EPA web site also includes a link to a fact sheet on the EPA-recognized test kits (PDF), however EPA has not updated that fact sheet yet to reflect the change.

Topics: EPA RRP Rule Updates, Lead Test Kits and Testing, EPA Announcements

Double Trouble for RRP Renovators: OSHA and EPA to Work Together

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Feb 07, 2012 @ 02:55 PM

Double Trouble for RRP Renovators: OSHA and EPA to Work Together

I just became aware of a recent Memorandum of Understanding between OSHA and EPA that outlines how the two separate government agencies will work together in Region One (the northeast).  The memorandum clearly explains that the purpose of working together will be to “improve and optimize the combined efforts of the parties to achieve protection of workers, the public, and/or the environment at facilities subject to EPA and/or OSHA jurisdiction”.   The memorandum was not dated, and although it had place holders for the date in the signature area, neither agency’s Regional Administrator signing the memorandum dated their signature.

EPA and OSHA working together, joint inspections

The memorandum further explains the process and framework for notification, training, consultation, and coordination between them to more effectively support the two agencies’ enforcement programs.  It specifically lists two special enforcement initiatives:

  • OSHA’s Lead in Construction standard
  • EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

I found out about this memorandum at the Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog titled “Region 1 EPA and OSHA to work together on RRP/OSHA enforcement”.  In the blog Mark Paskell highlights from the memorandum some of the ways OSHA and EPA will work together.  Here is one highlight renovators will be sure to find sobering:

“EPA and OSHA may conduct joint inspections as appropriate to carry out the purposes of their respective statutory authorities. Such inspections may be coordinated in advance but may also be scheduled on an ad-hoc basis.”

RRP Violations, OSHA violations, OSHA and RRP violationsWith spring only a short time away, contractors will soon be working outdoors again in the northeast.  This will make the work they do and the work practices they use much more visible to OSHA and EPA.  Consider yourself warned and get ready.  In additional to the work practices required under RRP rules, there are plenty of OSHA regulations and requirements as well.  If you don’t have written safety plans for the work your business performs, or if you have not provided the required safety training and equipment for your workers, you might become an easy target. 

Whether guilty or not, know your rights as a business if you are visited.  As a business, if written up by a government agency, you will be considered guilty until you prove your innocence, at your own expense.   How you handle the visit can make a big difference.  See this previous RRPedia post for guidance on how to handle a request for information should either OSHA or EPA drop by to collect information or send a request your way.

Topics: OSHA Considerations, Enforcement and Inspections, OSHA - EPA Challenges, EPA Announcements

EPA Publishes First RRP Enforcement of Lead Safe Work Practices

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, May 16, 2011 @ 01:18 PM

EPA Publishes First RRP Enforcement of Lead Safe Work Practices

Today the EPA announced it's first enforcement actions against a renovator for violations of the lead-safe work practices required under the RRP Rule.  

RRP EnforcementThe press release below explains how the violator was investigated after a YouTube video of the the renovator's workers in action was posted showing the total lack of lead-safe work practices in place as the workers used power equipment to remove paint on a rental property on Rockland ME.  

EPA’s investigation found that Mr. Wentworth failed to: obtain required certification as a renovation firm from EPA; post warning signs in the work area; cover the ground in the work area with plastic sheeting to collect falling lead paint debris; contain waste from the renovation activities to prevent releases of dust and debris before the waste is removed from the work area for storage or disposal; prohibit use of machines that remove lead-based paint through high speed operation without HEPA exhaust controls; and establish and maintain records necessary to demonstrate compliance with the Renovation Rule.  

Click here to watch the video which provided all the evidence the EPA needed.

RRP Inspections and auditsWill this be the first of many press releases by EPA regarding enforcement?   Many contractors who have complied with the RRP rule hope so.  According to Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office: "Enforcement of these rules is important to protecting children and the business interests of those contractors who are following the rules.” 

Time will tell if anyone else at EPA other Curt Spalding recognizes the importance of enforcement. 


RRP enforcment in Maine

 

News Release
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office
May 16, 2011

Contact: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

Maine Renovator Faces Penalty for Violations of Lead Renovation Rule

(Boston, Mass. – May 16, 2011) – A Rockland, Maine renovator is facing penalties for allegedly violating requirements designed to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint during painting and other renovation activities.

According to information gathered by inspectors from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and EPA, two workers employed by Colin Wentworth of Rockland failed to contain dust and debris generated by lead paint removal activities during a repainting project in October 2010.  Although Mr. Wentworth had completed the eight-hour course required by the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, he did not provide the required training or supervision to his employees to ensure that they followed the required work practices prior to their use of high-speed dust-generating power tools to remove lead paint from the building.  Mr. Wentworth also failed to take steps to obtain the mandatory lead-safe certification for his firm. 

The violations were brought to EPA’s attention via an anonymous tip linking to a video of the violations, posted on YouTube and taken in October 2010.  The video documented workers using power equipment to remove lead paint from an exterior wall of a residential building without using any containment for lead-containing dust and debris. 

At least six children, one of whom was under six years old, lived in the four-unit building at the time of the project.  Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure, which can cause developmental impairment, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems.  Adults with high lead levels can suffer difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory problems and muscle and joint pain.

EPA’s investigation found that Mr. Wentworth failed to: obtain required certification as a renovation firm from EPA; post warning signs in the work area; cover the ground in the work area with plastic sheeting to collect falling lead paint debris; contain waste from the renovation activities to prevent releases of dust and debris before the waste is removed from the work area for storage or disposal; prohibit use of machines that remove lead-based paint through high speed operation without HEPA exhaust controls; and establish and maintain records necessary to demonstrate compliance with the Renovation Rule. 

“In New England we have a high proportion of older houses where lead paint can still be present.  It is critically important that all tradespeople understand and follow the RRP requirements so that during renovations, children are not exposed to lead and face serious, life-long health consequences,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Many renovation firms have done the right thing by becoming certified, sending their employees to training and following the appropriate, health-protective work practices.  Enforcement of these rules is important to protecting children and the business interests of those contractors who are following the rules.”

EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule is designed to prevent exposure to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards.  The rule requires individuals performing renovations for compensation at most pre-1978 housing to be properly trained.  There are certification and training requirements for individual renovators and firms performing renovations to ensure that safe work practices are followed during renovations.

This is the first action EPA has brought against a company or individual for lead safe work-practice violations, under the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule which became effective on April 22, 2010. The maximum penalty for the alleged violations is $37,500 per violation per day.

This case highlights the importance of high-quality tips that include the name, address, and phone number of the person who allegedly violated the rule, and contain details about the violations observed.  While every such tip doesn’t always result in a formal enforcement action, EPA follows through on tips to identify if violations have occurred and if public or environmental health has been jeopardized. 

- Report environmental violation tips anywhere in the USA (http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints/index.html)

- Report lead hazard tips in New England: (http://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/leadpaint/RenovationRepairPaintComplaintForm.html)

More information:

- Lead paint RRP rule (http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm)

- Why lead is a health hazard (http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadinfo.htm#health)

#  #  #

 

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.  They offer a complete assortment of multi-part carbon forms, signage and checklists to assist you and your employees with RRP compliance

Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Violation Reports, Videos, EPA Announcements

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

New EPA Announcement Falls Short In Supporting RRP Certification

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 @ 02:39 PM

EPA Announces Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Misses Opportunity to Promote Benefits of Hiring RRP Certified Businesses and Workers.

Frustrated Certified RenovatorThe EPA sent out the press release below to announce National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.   Although the announcement mentions the RRP Rule and that contractor training and certification are required, it certainly falls short in giving consumers sound advice about having renovations done at their homes.  Earlier this year many in the industry expressed this same concern about the EPA's Public Service announcments.

 

Unfortunately the announcement does not mention anything at all about making sure to only hire certified businesses and individuals to do the work or that those who are not certified are operating illegally and may be putting their health and safety at risk.

 

EPA EnforcementLegitimate businesses have been demanding that EPA enforce the rule and go after illegally operating renovators.  This announcement could have assisted in that effort.   Had the announcement encouraged consumers to check for and report violators of the rule perhaps we could protect more children.  In effect, by not adequately enforcing this rule, the gap between legitimate businesses and the underground economy is widening.  

------------------------

CONTACT:
Dale Kemery
kemery.dale@epa.gov
202-564-7839
202-564-4355

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2010
 
EPA Announces Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Agency urges parents to protect children from exposure

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), October 24–30, 2010, to raise awareness of lead poisoning in children. Lead causes a variety of adverse health effects, including brain and nervous system disorders, high blood pressure and hypertension, and reproductive problems. For children, even low levels of exposure to lead can cause a host of developmental effects such as learning disabilities, decreased intelligence and speech, language, and behavioral problems, which can affect children for a lifetime.

“Lead exposure can have serious, life-altering health effects, especially for our children. Those effects are entirely preventable if we take the right steps to raise awareness and give every family the tools they need to protect against lead exposure,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “It’s vital that we help educate parents and caretakers on the importance of safeguarding children from the dangers of lead in their homes. National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to strengthen our prevention efforts and ensure safety year round.”

In April 2010, EPA published its Lead Renovation Repair and Painting Rule to reduce contamination associated with the removal of lead-based paint chips and dust generated when homes are remodeled. The rule requires training and certification of all remodeling contractors to engage in safe lead paint-handling procedures. The agency anticipates the rule will further reduce the incidence of lead poisoning in the United States.

Lead paint poisoning affects more than 1 million children today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 250,000 children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to require public health intervention, based on data from a 2003–2004 national survey. Major sources of lead exposure among children are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Despite the continued presence of lead in the environment, lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

This year's NLPPW theme, Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future, underscores the importance of sting your home and your child, and getting the facts about how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Here are some simple things you can do to help protect your children:
•Get your home tested. Have your home inspected if you live in a home built before 1978.
•Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead.
•Get the facts. Visit http://www.leadfreekids.org or call 1-800-424-LEAD.

More information on lead: http://epa.gov/lead/pubs/lppw2010.htm

Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Health Effects of Lead, EPA Announcements