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

RRP Question: Does Removing Aluminum Siding Fall Under the RRP Rule?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

RRP Question:  Does Removing Aluminum Siding Fall Under the RRP Rule?

 

Question:

disturbing aluminum siding under the RRP Rule

 

"Theoretically, aluminum siding came with paint on it…..and most was installed before 1978.  Does anyone know if the factory paint on aluminum siding has lead in it?  Intuitively, one would pull it off without concern for lead, but I have a client who has asked specifically."

Gregory A. Antonioli, GCP, President

Out of the Woods Construction and Cabinetry

 

Shawn’s Answer:

Greg:

working on aluminum siding uder the rrp ruleThe rule includes all painted or coated surfaces.  So yes, the siding must be assumed to have lead until tested otherwise.

Note: My opinion as expressed above is based on the fact that the painted surface is being “disturbed”. Here is an interesting conversation about this topic on the JLC forum.

Aluminum siding during that era was manufactured by many different companies so it would not be wise to assume they all used the same paint or coating.  Even if you test a product on one house and find it lead free, under the RRP Rule you must assume that same product might have lead if installed on any other building.

Here is one that might seem crazy.  Along the same vein, even if you built an addition or deck at a home after 1977, and you know all the products you used were purchased and installed after 1977, if returning to work on the addition or deck you must still assume the addition or deck may contain lead.  The only way around this is to test it to prove the absence of lead under the rule.

Something often missed or overlooked is if the original siding under the aluminum siding contains lead.   If you have to remove that siding too or even just disturb more than 20 square feet of the old siding when removing the aluminum siding, then the RRP Rule will apply.

 

Here is what the EPA says at their RRP FAQ area about removing aluminum siding:


Question:

I am removing aluminum siding from a pre-1978 home. The aluminum siding was nailed over the top of painted wood siding that tested positive for lead. The underlying painted surface is greater than twenty-square feet. Must I comply with the Rule when removing the aluminum siding?

EPA Answer:

EPA logoThe work practices for exterior projects are based on a performance standard – if the activity disturbs a painted surface (generally, by creating paint chips or dust) in excess of 20 square feet, the work area must be contained so that dust or debris does not leave the work area while the renovation is being performed. In this case, if the removal of the aluminum siding results in the disturbance of paint in excess of 20 square feet, then the RRP Rule applies. However, if the removal activity could be performed in such a way that does not disturb 20 square feet of painted surface, then the RRP Rule would not apply.

EPA recognizes that this may be difficult to determine in advance of the renovation activity. However, the renovator is the person with the expertise and experience to make this determination on a case-by-case basis. In such a situation, a renovator should consider how factors like the condition of the underlying paint or the chosen method of removal may increase or decrease the likelihood for a disturbance of paint. If there is still uncertainty, EPA recommends that renovators err on the side of caution and be prepared to contain any dust and debris.

 

Topics: EPA RRP for Dummies, Sales Considerations, RRP Questions

A Message From The Lead Paint Police: It’s Not What You Think...

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

A Message From The Lead Paint Police: It’s Not What You Think..

Bet you thought this would be about EPA enforcement! 

Lead PoliceActually this is about helping spread the word to children and parents about avoiding the dangers of lead exposure.  

In the video below Sesame Street characters sing a song that gets that message into the heads of young children.  Apparently, for whatever reason, children love the characters and the song.    This is further evidenced by this quote found with the video on YouTube:


“This is the only thing I remember from 4th grade. Some kid made the teacher replay this song 10 times...”

 

 

 

Protect family from lead poisoningI suggest renovators could use this video on their website.  Consider creating an area on your site dedicated to the RRP Rule.  Make it a place that offers information, advice and links that would help visitors understand the rule and the realities of lead exposure.  If you do so you can send prospects and customers to your site to help pre-educate them prior to a sales call or before beginning work at their home.  

This video is just one of many on YouTube about lead and the RRP rule.  Get creative.  Use some key word searches to find and then embed videos on your site.

Check out this RRPedia article for additional links you can use on your web site:

Resources About Lead and the EPA RRP Rule for Home Owners and Contractors

 

Topics: Sales Considerations, Marketing Considerations, Health Effects of Lead, Videos, Non-RRP Lead Topics

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

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

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

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis?: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 08, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis?  

Ray Douglas

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Ray Douglas to express his opinion.  Ray is a remodeling contractor in Brodhead, Wisconsin and has been in business for 34 years. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

 

 

Does Economy Buster RRP Have Any Factual Basis

If lead dust from remodeling is the main reason for elevated blood lead levels (EBBL’s) in children, then why did EBBL’s in children drop dramatically during the same ten year period (1997-2007) that remodeling activities doubled?  The CDC and Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies charts below show this.



Number of children poisoned by lead

 

Dollars spent on remodeling

In a recent blog, the question was asked of the Director of Massachusetts’ Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program; “How many children in Massachusetts were poisoned by lead due to renovation?”  The answer:  “He had no idea and said the Commonwealth doesn’t track the source of the poisoning.”

A Mercatus Reports article written by Alastair Walling in 2006 states:  “Even though the details of their own studies show little in the way of a link between R&R work and elevated blood lead, the EPA is persisting with its planned certification of R&R workers.  The proposed rules may not produce lower blood-lead levels, but they will raise the cost of renovation and remodeling.”

In a letter dated 11-27-2009, written by SBA Office of Advocacy that was sent to EPA administrator Jackson, makes the following statement:  “Advocacy believes that the evidence in fact shows that private contractors (i.e., professional renovators) subject to reasonable cleanup standards, including the “no visible dust or debris” standard, do not create additional health hazards.”

RRP SignWhen you remove all the smoke and mirrors from this rule, the EPA can prove two thoughts; 1 Some remodeling activities create dust   2 Lead paint dust can create or raise EBLL’s    Independent of each other those two statements can be proven, but the combination (which is a major foundational reason for RRP) is not so clear.  Why?

The EPA admits there are several other sources of lead exposure.  These include lead in soil, water, toys, glassware etc. The following links provide some examples:


If it was suspected that a child got EBBL’s from a remodeling activity, were all the other possibilities of lead exposure ruled out?  Was everything that the child touched or ingested also tested?  That would almost be impossible to do. However, by not doing so, how can it be proven that any lead dust generated by responsible remodelers is a leading cause of EBBL’s in children?  

If the EPA had confidence in the RRP rule, why didn’t they add the following statement inside the RRP Renovate Right pamphlet:

“The contractor, by following these rules, will contain all the lead dust he/she created doing your project, and cannot be held liable for any other past, present or future lead contamination or exposure.”

Because of the extra costs, and the lack of consumer awareness about the dangers of lead, this rule is a tough sell to the customer. It becomes an even tougher sell when the customer asks for evidence to justify the rule.  As discussed above, there is a lot of information that questions the need for it. So, unfortunately, the best answer a contractor may be able to offer is “because it’s the law”.  

RRP LettersSince I can’t explain to the customer the need for this rule, I encourage my customers and prospects to contact their state and federal representatives and ask them to provide facts and figures to explain the need for the RRP rule.  To assist them with this, I supply them with a letter to send to their representatives along with a stamped and addressed envelope.  I encourage all other contractors to consider doing the same.  

To make sending the letters easier, Shawn and I have created sample letter templates that can be shared with and used by remodeling customers and concerned homeowners.  There is a sample contractor letter available as well.  Click here to view or download the letter templates.   Special thanks to Melanie Hodgdon of Business Systems Management for helping edit the letters and for suggesting some of the content of the letters.  


 

   

Topics: Sales Considerations, Health Effects of Lead, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, Letters to send to Politicians

I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP

Joe Levitch

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Joe Levitch of Levco Builders to express his opinion.  Joe is a remodeling contractor and he is also a Licensed Lead Inspector and the owner of Lead Locators, a lead inspection firm in Boise Idaho. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

 

I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP

There is a wide spectrum of folks who have been affected by the RRP rule from carpenters with a pickup and a dog, to multimillion dollar companies. Not all trades have the same challenges. I believe the painters have it the worst of all with their vertical containment issues and the concern of using ladders over plastic covered surfaces. However, since RRP is a blanket rule for all trades, I suggest we all need to be involved in collectively solving each other’s dilemmas.

Elevated Blood Lead LevelsHow we all choose to respond to the EPA’s oversight of the remodeling industry is a personal one.   I will be the first to admit that initially I found it difficult to understand how invisible dust particles can cause serious health hazards.  But with a little research, I got it. I suggest you can understand it too. Take my word for it, or look it up. I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion.

Not everyone wants to have a real business.  I often describe that my business was akin to “A Lemonade Stand” (Not that I don’t like them in fact I have a family rule that it is illegal to pass one up without stopping).  I have evolved it into a real business and have accepted the responsibilities that go along with it.  My big step forward occurred when I joined NARI.

RRP ContractorThe business part turns me on right now.  However, I understand that there are those who prefer the hands on, the nail gun and the saw.  I happen to prefer the keyboard and the pen.  Having this new RRP rule is a huge challenge to incorporate into any business and I feel many of the same pressures you do.  I believe following the rules and separating my business from others will take me to the next level of success. I also understand there are those who are seeing it from a totally different perspective.

It reminds me of an old story from India about the six blind men that were asked to touch a different part of an elephant and describe what an elephant looks like. The man that touched the leg said it is like a pillar.  The man that touched the tail said an elephant is like a rope; and so on. The truth is that each man is absolutely correct. Only the sighted person can see what the elephant looks like as a whole.

From the perspective of a carpenter the RRP rule is a pain in the butt. From the homeowner’s perspective, it is a way to keep her kids safer, and it jacks up the price for remodeling. From many professional remodelers’ perspectives, the RRP rule is another level of certification and a credential that sets them apart from the competition.  No matter how you look at RRP, it is a new requirement and changes the game we were all used to.

As an industry I would like us to see us move to the fifth step in the Kübler-Ross model made famous in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.

  1. Denial= “ I feel fine, this can’t be happening to me“ (This was done prior to 4-22-2010)
  2. Anger =”Why me?” (Lots of this still floating around)
  3. Bargaining= “Just let me do it the way we always have… I did a fine job of cleaning.” (Some professional organizations are still lobbying for this.)
  4. Depression= “I am so sad, why do I even bother?” (A whole lot of us are dealing with this)
  5. Acceptance= “It’s going to be okay, I can do this thing”  (Most larger companies and some of the rest are well on the way to incorporating the RRP rule into their marketing strategies)

Leaded DustThere is a sufficient body of scientific evidence that lead dust is created during renovation and while disturbing lead based painted surfaces. There is also a significant body of medical knowledge that lead is bad for people. I am educating my perspective clients as fast as I can. To the extent that they get it, and see a value in what I offer, I will be a clear choice for those who live in Pre 1978 homes.

For those among us that have made it to the fifth level, I would like to open a national discussion about how we are coping with the challenges and succeeding. The East coast has been dealing with these issues for a lot longer that the West. Shawn has been gracious enough to share the stage for a moment and see if the concept gains traction. My goal is to plant the seed.

Topics: Sales Considerations, Marketing Considerations, Health Effects of Lead, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

RRP And Politics As Usual - Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Jan 22, 2011 @ 06:00 PM

RRP And Politics As Usual

Paul Lesieur One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Paul Lesieur to express his opinion.  Paul is a Yankee trained craftsman and the founder of www.remodelcrazy.com.  He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

 

RRP And Politics As Usual

Frustrated with RRP

A lot has been written and said about the EPA's RRP rule. It's here and we need to deal with the impact it will put on home remodeling.

What About It?

At first some contractors and even the NARI group were proudly proclaiming how this is perfect to separate themselves from the hacks. Truth is, only some members complied some did not. But still, most contractors agreed it’s good to protect the clients and their workers, there has never been an argument over that.

Some contractors saw it as government interference and an opportunity for lower priced criminals pretending to be contractors to have yet one more advantage in this price sensitive economy.

The new RRP rule is a game changer, it was badly promoted and even after all this time most homeowners are unaware of the RRP rule and many contractors, real estate professionals and lenders haven't heard of it. This is proving to be a political curve ball that may end up doing much more harm than good.

The Good!

The RRP may be the event that began a movement to unite our industry, something our present organizations have failed to accomplish. It will certainly raise standards for safer and cleaner work sites, and it will provide a dialogue between Realtors, lenders and remodeling professionals with more than just the usual requests for fast and free estimates. The RRP may also insure that permits get issued only to registered firms.  Some contractors will successfully use the RRP rule to sell work, although this will be a small part of the market. So in a way this rule, if it ever gets known to the general public will make it clear that homeowners need to hire licensed companies for most work.

The Bad!

Some contractors will lose work, mostly at the middle where a difference of 1 or 2 thousand dollars in price can cost you the job. There is no getting around the fact that the RRP rule has added time and money to an already complicated process. Remodeling has always been a carefully orchestrated series of events and now we have added another process to the mix.

Public awareness is minimal. Misinformation is rampant and even the EPA is on record saying the costs for complying with the rule will be between $8 and $167 per job. I hope homeowners don't believe that.

Contractors will have yet another business expense that the unlicensed companies won't have. And the list goes on.

Some new and important changes will be coming our way concerning the RRP; mainly the states will be taking over interpreting and enforcing the rule. If you think it’s a pain now, wait until your state starts telling you how it wants things done.

When the bankers get educated what's going to happen when you apply to refinance your 1952 ranch home? Think this isn't being discussed with loan underwriters? Think again!

Comments about RRP Rule

 

 

 

 

Here are some comments, all from licensed business owners, all have been in business for 10 to 30 years. These people have managed to grow their businesses and ride the ups and downs of our American economy, read what they have to say.

 

PN of Minneapolis.

I am known for my clean work sites, some customers have even told me it was ok to be a little more messy, but I am who I am. Concerning the RRP, this will add time and money for certain jobs and that will make me less competitive, it can be a deal breaker if my competition isn't doing the RRP or charging for it.

KC of Los Angeles.

That's always been my biggest problem with this RRP thing. It's not OUR lead. It's the homeowner's problem, and we are bound by law to handle it a certain way or face severe fines and possibly devastating civil suits. The handling costs money, and the client is responsible for absorbing that cost as part of the project.

But the clients don't seem to want to grasp this concept. The EPA has stacked the deck against us from the git-go. Publishing information that states the average cost for proper handling starts at $35??? And the homeowners are exempt if they do the work themselves.

Has anyone had any consistent success in getting homeowners to absorb a $1500 added cost (or more) for lead paint safe handling?

Every contractor I know is either ignoring the rule altogether, or eating the cost of the visqueen and tape and suits and all that crap just to get the damn job.
I have literally been laughed at by homeowners for including an RRP charge in my estimates. Most of them view it as a nanny state regulation and just more government control.
And why pay for it when there are dozens of other contractors that will either ignore it altogether or eat the cost themselves.

The government screwed the pooch on the way they handled this. And guess what, it isn't working and probably never will

WS of New Jersey

We're a manufacturer of vinyl replacement windows in Northern NJ (NYC Metro), we sell retail and wholesale. We also do our own installations and have experienced a downturn in installations due to RRP costs. We are playing by the rules, but getting hammered from it.

RJ of Connecticut.

I sweated my way through a one room paint proposal presentation that had a $568 charge for RRP because the house was built in 1977. Homeowners agreed after several eyebrows went up and down several times, 15 minutes of my lecturing about lead paint and the admission that their six year old grandson lives with them 4 days each week. I enjoy being a craftsman, not the tax collector or bureaucrat.

The homeowner opt-out is unfortunate- that is the most likely time for the target population (children) to be exposed to the contaminant.

The Ugly!

So far the RRP rule is growing an underground group of non compliant contractors. It’s a divisive rule and even the supporters are starting to keep their opinions private. The solution is to study this rule and look for the loopholes that will repeal some of the suggested work practices. If the EPA says it cost $8 to $167 to comply then it should. Testing can be done (by contractors) to find some simple but effective work habits.

Topics: Sales Considerations, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

Is EPA Not Listening Or In Denial About The Effects of RRP Rule?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Jan 09, 2011 @ 04:10 PM

Is EPA Not Listening Or In Denial About The Effects of  RRP Rule?

Remodelers across the country have been complaining about the additional costs related to the EPA RRP rule. As predicted by many trade groups and individual commenters during the comment period before the rule was promulgated, the additional costs to comply with the rule have created a significant pricing divide between those businesses complying with the rule and those that are not. As a result, and again as predicted by many commenters, this has lead to an increase in illegally performed renovations, as consumers, motivated by price, are ignoring the dangers of lead paint and opt to hire contractors who are not abiding by the rule. Under the rule, a renovator can be fined up to $37,500 for willful and knowing violations of the rule, and can even face jail time. Unfortunately, there is no legal consequence to a homeowner for hiring an illegally operating firm, even if the consumer is aware of the rule and its requirements.

The Bid

Facts show that the EPA has, for the most part, ignored predictions, insight and feedback from the regulated community; both during the comment period before the rule was promulgated and since the rule took effect on April 22, 2010.

Here is an excerpt from the preamble of the final rule that demonstrates EPA’s disregard for the concerns of the businesses regulated by the RRP Rule:

“It is difficult to determine with any amount of certainty whether this final rule will have unintended consequences. However, EPA agrees that it is important to minimize disincentives for using certified renovation firms who follow the work practices required by this rule. EPA also agrees that practicality is an important consideration. Given the relatively low estimated overall average per-job cost of this final rule, which is $35, and the relatively easy-to-use work practices required by this final rule, EPA does not expect the incremental costs associated with this rule to be a determinative factor for consumers. However, that relatively low cost has resulted in part from EPA's efforts to contain the costs of this rule in order to avoid creating disincentives to using certified renovation firms, and EPA has viewed the comments received with those considerations in mind.”

EPA not listeningIt would seem from reading the above text that EPA did not listen to the many commenters who sited additional costs well beyond EPA’s estimated average additional cost of $35.00. The text also shows that the EPA rationalized that consumers would not be inclined to avoid working with a certified firm based on such a small price difference. Was their math wrong? Are they oblivious to the real costs reported by those doing the work now that the rule is in place? Have they done any research to determine if the rule has had any unintended consequences? Or, are they willfully ignoring the true realities and effects of the additional costs to comply?

In a recent article from NWTN Today, published on December 31, 2010, Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances at the EPA offered the following. It certainly proves that despite evidence to the contrary, EPA is still not listening to the regulated community or is still in denial:

“Getting lead-safe certified is it the right thing to do for contractors, their customers, and their employees, and especially for the children who spend time near spaces that are being renovated,” said Owens. Owens says that the EPA is mindful of the small added costs that may result from complying with this important rule. To that end, he said the EPA is launching a consumer campaign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of lead paint poisoning, and encourage consumers to choose only contractors who are Lead-Safe Certified"

Effects of the RRP RuleDon’t get me going about the “Small added costs” and that the EPA plans to “encourage” consumers to choose only contractors who are Lead-Safe Certified. Wouldn’t it have made sense and have helped those businesses complying with the rule to have done the outreach and education before and as the rule went into effect? Wouldn’t have made sense to “require” consumers choose only contractors who are Lead-Safe Certified?

Topics: Sales Considerations, Effects of the RRP Rule

EPA RRP Enforcement Has Started, But You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Dec 19, 2010 @ 06:00 AM

RRP Enforcement Has Started, But You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

EPA RRP Costs

Legitimate and professional contractors seeking to level the playing field of doing business have been expressing their desire for enforcement of the new EPA RRP rule.  Their biggest gripe has been that those not following the rule maintain a pricing advantage because those who do comply must include the additional related overhead, material and labor costs.  This concern is further validated because the EPA so far has done little in the way of enforcement. 

 

EPA Ad

It will take time, but enforcement is on the way.  Momentum in this area will likely be caused by the residual effects of the RRP rule, not because the EPA chooses to ramp up its enforcement efforts.  Contractors and the EPA better get ready though.  Catalysts like the ones listed below are coming and will force contractors to comply. At the same time these catalysts will increase the number of violations reported to and requiring action by the EPA and or by those states that have assumed administration and enforcement of the rule.

The list below includes titles for several other articles previously posted to RRPedia.  Clicking on the titles will bring you to that article.  Rather than make this article extremely long, readers can pick and choose which articles they would like to read.  If you choose to read all or most of the articles, I suggest reading them in the order listed below.

 

Delegated States Likely Better Prepared To Enforce EPA RRP Rule

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

Uninformed and Nervous Neighbors Will Keep RRP Renovators on Their Toes

Insurance companies Rethinking Coverage and Premiums Due to EPA RRP Rule

Contractors and Subs Doing EPA RRP Work Will Need to Work Things Out

Property Values and Equity Will Drop as a Result of the EPA RRP Rule

Home Inspectors Will Help Spread The News About The EPA RRP Rule

Banks And Other Lenders Are Starting to Find Out About the EPA RRP Rule Too.

Topics: Sales Considerations, Enforcement and Inspections, Legal Considerations, Shawn's Predictions, Effects of the RRP Rule