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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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Glossary and Definitions of EPA RRP Terms

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 @ 11:18 AM

This glossary was assembled using the EPA; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program Final Rule (§ 745.82), issued April 2008 as well as a variety of other sources.

RRP DictionaryRenovators working under the EPA RRP Rule should become familiar with these terms and their meanings.  If you haven't noticed already, the EPA has taken upon itself to create new and different definitions to many common terms already used in the renovation and remodeling industry.   This can cause confusion when attempting to understand and interpret the EPA RRP Rule.  Knowing these terms and the related "EPA RRP Definitions" for these terms can help avoid inaccurate assumptions and potential fines.

There are many other terms used in the EPA RRP rule than what have been included here.  I will add more as time permits.  Please feel free to contribute additional terms and definitions and or request any you feel should be added to this list. 

Definition of Lead Based Paint

Lead-Based Paint (LBP) is a term used by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) program. It defines paint with lead levels equal to or exceeding 1.0 milligram per square centimeter (1mg/cm2) or 0.5 percent by weight. Lead-based paint is not a term used by the Dangerous Waste program because the program only regulates lead if there is to leach 5.0 or more milligrams per liter on a TCLP Test - a different method of measurement. (Section 302(c) of the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act)
Abatements vs. Renovations

Abatement means an activity designed to permanently eliminate lead paint hazards. Abatement includes any of the following:
-The removal of lead paint and lead-contaminated dust; the permanent enclosure (barrier) or encapsulation (special paint coating) of lead paint; the replacement of lead-painted surfaces or fixtures; the removal or covering of lead-contaminated soil; and any preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post-abatement clearance testing associated with these activities.
-A project for which there is a contract indicating that a company will be performing work on a housing unit, day care center, preschool, or kindergarten that is designed to permanently remove lead paint hazards.
-A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards, conducted by a certified abatement company.
-A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards, conducted by a company who, through its name or promotional literature, represents, or advertises to be in the business of performing lead paint activities.
-A project resulting in the permanent removal of lead paint hazards that is conducted in response to a state or local government lead abatement order, as in the case of a lead poisoned child.

Abatements are generally performed in three circumstances:
– In response to a child with an elevated blood lead level
– In housing receiving HUD financial assistance
– State and local laws and regulations may require abatements in certain situations associated with rental housing.

Abatements are not covered by the RRP rule.

Renovations are performed for many reasons, most having nothing to do with lead-based paint. Renovations involve activities designed to update, maintain, or modify all or part of a building. Renovations are covered by the RRP rule.


Certified Firm

Certified Firm means a firm that has received EPA certification to perform renovations as covered by the Final Rule (745.82). Firms that perform renovations for compensation must apply to EPA for certification to perform renovations or dust sampling. To apply, a firm must submit to EPA a completed "Application for Firms,'' signed by an authorized agent of the firm, and pay a fee. To maintain its certification, a firm must be recertified by EPA every 5 years.


Certified Renovator

Renovator means an individual who either performs or directs workers who perform renovations. A certified renovator is a renovator who has successfully completed a renovator course accredited by EPA or an EPA-authorized State or Tribal program.


Child-Occupied Facility

Child-Occupied Facility means a building, or portion of a building, constructed prior to 1978, visited regularly by the same child, under 6 years of age, on at least two different days within any week (Sunday through Saturday period), provided that each day's visit lasts at least 3 hours and the combined weekly visits last at least 6 hours, and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours.


Cleaning Verification Card

Cleaning verification card means a card developed and distributed, or otherwise approved, by EPA for the purpose of determining, through comparison of wet and dry disposable cleaning cloths with the card, whether post-renovation cleaning has been properly completed. (Anticipated to be distributed by EPA, Fall 2008.)


Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (LRRPP) Rule

Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (LRRPP) Rulemeans rules (40 CFR 745), which include Weatherization (see Renovation), established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (April 2008) to address lead-based paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities. (see definitions for target and child-occupied facilities



Firm means a company, partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship or individual doing business, association, or other business entity; a Federal, State, Tribal, or local government agency; or a nonprofit organization. In the case of Lead Safe Weatherization work, a firm can be the grantee, subgrantee, or contractor.

HEPA Vacuum

HEPA vacuum means a vacuum cleaner which has been designed with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter as the last filtration stage. A HEPA filter is a filter that is capable of capturing particles of 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. The vacuum cleaner must be designed so that all the air drawn into the machine is expelled through the HEPA filter with none of the air leaking past it


Lead Safe Weatherization (LSW)

Lead Safe Weatherization (LSW) means a set of protocols, established by the U.S. Department of Energy (WPN 02-6 issued July 23, 2002) to be used when disturbing surfaces that may have lead-based paint, that will reduce and control the amount of lead dust and paint chips that are generated. The protocols address compliance with applicable regulations, and are intended to reduce the risk of liability and health issues associated with the work.


Minor Repair and Maintenance (De minimis)
Minor repair and maintenance means activities, including minor heating, ventilation or air conditioning work, electrical work, and plumbing, that disrupt 6 square feet or less of painted surface per room for interior activities or 20 square feet or less of painted surface for exterior activities where none of the work practices prohibited or restricted by § 745.85(a)(3) are used and where the work does not involve window replacement or demolition of painted surface areas. When removing painted components, or portions of painted components, the entire surface area removed is the amount of painted surface disturbed. Jobs, other than emergency renovations, performed in the same room within the same 30 days must be considered the same job for the purpose of determining whether the job is a minor repair and maintenance activity.


Recognized Lead Test Kits

Recognized test kit means a commercially available kit recognized by EPA under the EPA LRRPP Rule as being capable of allowing a user to determine the presence of lead at levels equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligrams per square centimeter, or more than 0.5% lead by weight, in a paint chip, paint powder, or painted surface



Renovation means the modification of any existing structure, or portion thereof, that results in the disturbance of painted surfaces, unless that activity is performed as part of an abatement as defined by this part (40 CFR 745.223). The term renovation includes (but is not limited to): The removal, modification or repair of painted surfaces or painted components (e.g., modification of painted doors, surface restoration, window repair, surface preparation activity (such as sanding, scraping, or other such activities that may generate paint dust)); the removal of building components (e.g., walls, ceilings, plumbing, windows); Weatherization projects (e.g., cutting holes in painted surfaces to install blown-in insulation or to gain access to attics, planning thresholds to install weather-stripping), and interim controls that disturb painted surfaces. A renovation performed for the purpose of converting a building, or part of a building, into target housing or a child-occupied facility is a renovation under this subpart. The term renovation does not include minor repair and maintenance activities. EPA added ‘‘Weatherization,'' to the definition to make it clear that all of these activities are covered by this definition if they disturb painted surfaces.

Target Housing

Target housing means housing constructed prior to 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any one or more children age 6 years or under resides or is expected to reside in such housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities); or any 0-bedroom dwelling. (Any residential dwelling in which the living area is not separated from the sleeping area. The term includes efficiencies, studio apartments, dormitory housing, military barracks, and rentals of individual rooms in residential dwellings.) 


Work Area

Work area means the area, of the work site, that the certified renovator establishes to contain the dust and debris generated by a renovation. 


Work Site

Work site means physical property address/location where Lead Safe Weatherization work will be conducted.

Topics: EPA RRP Lead Rules, Definitions, EPA RRP for Dummies

EPA announces newly proposed amendments to the EPA RRP Rule

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 @ 09:33 AM

EPA RRP Press release


In an April 23 news release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced release of two new amendments to the EPA RRP Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule regarding dust wipe testing and their intention to apply the rule to public and commercial buildings.

  The proposed amendments would change the lead rule as a direct result of a voluntary legal settlement with several environmental groups that challenged the original regulation.

According to the NAHB the proposed amendments would:

  • Require abatement-style dust wipe testing and share results with home occupants and owners.This rule change will apply to certain remodeling activities and require the renovator to achieve the EPA's strict numerical limits for lead dust levels on window sills, window troughs, and floors. The EPA's numerical lead dust standards are the same as those dictated to lead-based paint abatement firms for achieving "clearance" under EPA's abatement rules. Depending on the outcome of this upcoming amendment, remodelers and other contractors may also be subject to additional regulatory restrictions at the state and local level triggered by the knowledge of disturbing lead-based paint. After this proposal is published, it will be out for a 60 day comment period with the goal of completing and finalizing this rule change in July 2011. Click here to view or save the proposed amendment as a PDF
  • Apply the lead rule to public and commercial buildings. The EPA plans to amend the rule to expand its scope over both public and commercial buildings. NAHB will follow this development but expects the proposal to come out after the clearance testing amendment.  Click here to view or save the proposed amendment as a PDF

Topics: EPA RRP Rule Updates, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Production Considerations, Amendments

What EPA RRP documentation must be given to the owner or occupant?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 @ 10:41 AM

NewOn April 22, 2010. the EPA added an amendment to the EPA RRP rule regarding documentation.

  The amendment will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, publication is expected to happen sometime in early May 2010. 


Here is what the EPA amendment states:

"This final rules requires that, when the final invoice for the renovation is delivered, or within 30 days of the completion of the renovation, whichever is earlier, the renovation firm provide

information demonstrating compliance with the training and work practice requirements of the RRP rule to the owner of the building being renovated and, if different, to the occupants of the renovated housing or the operator of the child-occupied facility. For renovations in common areas of target housing, the renovation firm must provide the occupants of the affected housing units instructions on how to review or obtain this information from the renovation firm at no charge to the occupant. These instructions must be included in the notice provided to each affected unit under 40 CFR 745.84(b)(2)(i) or on the signs posted in the common areas under 40 CFR 745.84(b)(2)(ii). EPA is finalizing similar requirements for renovations in child-occupied facilities. Under this final rule, the renovation firm is required to provide interested parents or guardians of children using the child-occupied facility instructions on how to review or obtain a copy of these records at no cost to the parents or guardians. This could be accomplished by mailing or hand delivering these instructions, or by including them on the signs posted under 40CFR 745.84(c)(2)(ii).

Under this new requirement, renovation firms must provide training and work practice information to owners and occupants. The information should be provided in a short, easily read checklist or other form. EPA's "Sample Renovation Recordkeeping Checklist" may be used for this purpose, but firms may develop their own forms or checklists so long as they include all of the required information. The specific information that is required to be provided are the training and work practice compliance information required to be maintained by 40 CFR 745.86(b)(7), as well as identifying information on the manufacturer and model of the test kits used, if any, a description of the components that were tested including their locations, and the test kit results. The checklist or form must include documentation that a certified renovator was assigned to the project, that the certified renovator provided on-the-job training for workers used on the project, that the certified renovator performed or directed workers who performed the tasks required by the RRP rule, and that the certified renovator performed the post-renovation cleaning verification. This documentation must include a certification by the certified renovator that the work practices were followed, with narration as applicable. However, EPA is not requiring that the renovation firm automatically provide a copy of the certified renovator's training certificate, which must be maintained in the firm's records pursuant to 40 CFR 745.86(b)(7), as an attachment to the checklist or other form."

The amendment also addresses documentation related to dust clearance testing as follows:

EPA RRP Dust Clearance Test"This final rule requires that, if dust clearance is performed in lieu of cleaning verification, the renovation firm provide a copy of the dust wipe sampling report(s) to the owner of the building that was renovated as well as to the occupants, if different. With respect to renovations in common areas of target housing or in child-occupied facilities, EPA is also requiring that these records be made available to the tenants of the affected housing units or the parents and guardians of children under age 6 using the child-occupied facilities. Dust sampling reports may be made available to these groups in the same way as training and work practice records, by providing information on how to review or obtain copies in individual notifications or on posted signs."

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 Rule Updates, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Documentation Considerations

EPA Softens stance on Firm Certification to allow work to continue

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 @ 03:26 PM

In a letter dated 4/20/2010, the EPA announced that it does not intend to take enforcement actions against firms who applied for the required firm certification before April 22, 2010 and are just waiting for their paperwork.  

EPA RRP Firm LogoThe RRP Rule requires that firms be certified with the EPA before offering or performing work that falls under the rule.  This fact is clearly stated in the rule and further explained in the FAQ section of the EPA website.   The rule also says that the EPA has up to 90 days to process firm applications.  Apparently, even though many businesses will be required to follow the RRP rule in its entirety, the EPA can decide which part(s) of the rule they will follow, or not.  In the letter, the EPA justifies not following the requirements of the RRP Rule in regards to the firm certification requirement as follows:

"The certification requirement is important to making sure that firms are protecting children and other residents while renovations are ongoing, but EPA does not wish to disrupt ongoing renovations for those firms that submitted applications on time."

The letter indicates that EPA expects to review all firm applications filed by April 22nd by June, although they did not specify by when in June.  

The letter also makes it clear that the EPA will be enforcing theContractor confused about EPA RRP Rule changes work practices and training requirements.

Click here to see which companies in your area are on the EPA's certified firms list  

On another note, the EPA did announce that the opt-out provision would be phased out and that it is proposing to add third party dust wipe testing.  The change in the rule regarding the opt-out will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Click here for more on the opt-out and the proposed dust-wipe testing.

Topics: EPA RRP Lead Rules, Legal Considerations, Work Practices, Firm Certification, Enforcement and Inspections

Does the EPA RRP Rule apply in unpainted spaces?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 04:47 PM

Questions (2):

(1) If a homeowner removes all the painted surfaces in a room and then hires a certified firm to remodel the room, does the renovator need to follow the RRP Rule?

(2) Does the RRP Rule apply where no paint at all is present, such as in a 100 year old unfinished basement?

According to the EPA web site:

"No.  The EPA RRP Rule applies to activities that result in the disturbance of painted surfaces.  Where there is no paint to disturb, the RRP Rule does not apply."

effects of lead poisoningNote: If the home owner has removed all painted surfaces and or has already done all required demo, renovators should still be cautious.  Just because all of the painted surfaces have been removed does not ensure that there is no lead dust still present in a work area.  If the renovator spreads that dust while working, he or she could still be held liable for doing so.  If demolition has been done by others prior to the start of work, it might be wise to have the area tested before you begin your work.

NOTE: According to the EPA RRP rule, you cannot offer, sell or do work on pre-78 target housing for compensation unless you or your business is a certified firm.  Although the work practices may not be required at a property if you are not disturbing any paint, the firm doing the work must be an EPA Certified Firm.

Topics: RRP Questions, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Work Practices, Work Practice Exclusions

Can the Renovate Right Brochure be delivered via -mail?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 04:07 PM


Is an electronic version of the lead information pamphlet sent to the customer via e-mail an acceptable means of distributing the information?

Renovate right brochureAccording to the EPA web site:

"The distribution of the lead information pamphlet(required under the EPA RRP Rule) (40 CFR § 745.83) via e-mail is an acceptable means of distributing the pamphlet as long as the requirements of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("Act")  (15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq.) are met.  The Act requires that the recipient of the pamphlet, among other things, consents electronically to email delivery and in a manner that demonstrates that the recipient can access the information in the form it will be provided.  In addition, the recipient must be allowed to withdraw this consent and be informed of the procedures for withdrawing consent. Further, the recipient must be provided with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for accessing and retaining the pamphlet."


Click here for a lay person's explanation of what is required from Wikipedia

Click here to view and or download a PDF of the Act

Click here to see how one contractor delivers it via a link on his web site.

Topics: EPA RRP Lead Rules, Legal Considerations, Notification Considerations, Compliance Options

Can I do RRP work if my firm is not a EPA Certified Firm yet?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 03:43 PM


Will a renovator working for a firm that has submitted a certification application to EPA but has not received its certification be allowed to work on pre-1978 properties assuming compliance with all other requirement of the EPA RRP Rule?

Firm logo


According to the EPA web site:

"No.  Beginning April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the RRP Rule without certification from EPA"

NOTE:  If you are a Certified Renovator, acting as a subcontractor working for and being paid by a certified firm, you can work under the rule.   

NOTE: The fine for working without firm certification is $37,500 per violation per day.  Willful violation of the rule is subject to an additional fine of $37,000 and or prison time.

Topics: RRP Questions, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Legal Considerations, EPA RRP for Dummies, Firm Certification, Enforcement and Inspections

What is the "Opt-Out" provision of the EPA RRP Rule and when does it apply?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 03:29 PM


What is the "opt-out" provision of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule and when does it apply?

Danger signAccording to the Q&A area of the EPA's web site, before you can offer or do work on pre-1978 homes, you must be a Certified Firm (click here to see this Q&A).  So, even if the work practices are not required, or the owner decides to opt-out, offering services or working on target properties requires that the contractor offering the contract to a property owner be a certified firm.

According to the EPA web site:

"The RRP Rule published April 22, 2008, allows homeowners to 'opt out' of the requirement to hire a trained renovator who follows the RRP work practices if the homeowner certifies that (1) the renovation will occur in the owner's residence, (2) no child under age 6 or pregnant women resides there, (3) the housing is not a child-occupied facility, and (4) the owner acknowledges that the renovation firm will not be required to use the work practices contained in the RRP rule." 

NOTE: On April 23, 2010, the EPA announce that the opt-out provision would be phased out. The change in the rule regarding the opt-out will become effective on July 6th, 2010.  Click here for more on the opt-out posted at the EPA Web Site.

RINOTE:  Rhode Island is one of many states and or tribal authorities that has been granted and or is seeking authorization by the EPA to administer the RRP program.  The opt-out provision is/will not be allowed in RI.  If you know of the status of the opt-out in RI and or other states, please contribute that information along with a source/link to confirm accuracy. 

Click here to view or download the RI Regulations as a PDF

Topics: RRP Questions, RI Conciderations, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Sales Considerations, Legal Considerations, Work Practices, RRP for Dummies

Do my subs need to be EPA RRP Certified Firms?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 03:02 PM

If a general contractor hires a subcontractor to work at a renovation site, does the subcontractor need to be an EPA certified firm if the subcontractor does not disturb any paint? 

According to the EPA Website:

HVAC DuctworkFirms performing tasks that disturb no painted surfaces whatsoever do not need to be EPA Certified Firms.  However, since conditions at the job site may be difficult to predict, EPA strongly recommends that all firms involved in the renovation be certified and use properly trained and certified personnel.  For example, a firm hired to install an HVAC system after demolition of painted surfaces has taken place may find that to complete the job painted surfaces need to be disturbed.  The HVAC firm may not engage in activities that disturb painted surfaces if it is not certified.  

ConfusionAs every renovation job is different, it is up to the firm acting as the general contractor to determine what activities are within the scope of the renovation and to ensure that other firms are properly trained and certified for the tasks they will be performing.  All firms, including the firm acting as the general contractor, are responsible for making sure the renovation is performed in accordance with the RRP work practice standards, including keeping containment intact and making sure lead dust and debris do not leave the work site.   General contractors should keep in mind that if a firm hires a subcontractor that fails to follow the work practice standards or otherwise violates the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule, the firm that hired the subcontractor is also responsible for the violation.

Topics: RRP Questions, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Worker Training, Production Considerations, Subcontractor Considerations

Do EPA RRP lead rules apply to home owners who do their own work?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Apr 17, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

We are located in a town where a majority of the homes are pre- 1940. How do the new lead rules apply to home owners who do their own work?  (RRP DIY)

Unfortunately, the RRP rules do not apply to home owners doing their own work!  Also, the rule does not apply if the work is being done by volunteers.  The rule only applies if the work is being done for compensation. If volunteers are being supervised by a paid supervisor, the rule does apply.

DIY Painter

Homeowners have no responsibilities under the new EPA RRP rules.  They can do their own work as they please, but are "encouraged" to follow lead safe practices.  If home owners are considering doing their own work, contractors can suggest they read Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work.  This booklet published by HUD will make them aware of lead hazards and the risks they will take if they do their own work.  It also includes very thorough instructions, for working lead safe, specific to performing a variety of projects.  This booklet may help many homeowners realize they are getting in over their head and should hire a professional.  The booklet might also be a great resource for contractors trying to collect effective and innovative lead safe work practices.


Contractors are required to be a certified firm to offer and orFirm logosell the work, but the homeowner does not in any way have responsibility to only hire a certified firm.  There is no consequence to the consumer for hiring someone who works illegally.  If this is a challenge for you, it would be pointless to express your concerns to an EPA employee.  They don't make the laws or rules.  Rather, you should speak with your congressman.  Congress was and is responsible for this rule, it's contents and the rule's lack of insight into the realities of implementation in the real world.

Topics: RRP Questions, EPA RRP Lead Rules, Legal Considerations, Work Practices