Will the EPA have a "Grace Period" for those who are trying to enroll, or are currently enrolled but have not completed an approved EPA RR&P training program?
The EPA has issued a Memorandum from Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator of Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance to OPPTS and Enforcement Division Directors for Regions 1-10 offering guidance on the implementation of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. This Memorandum addresses concern voiced by the regulated community regarding difficulties experienced in obtaining firm certification and renovation worker training. Because of this the EPA will offer additional time for renovation firms and workers to obtain the necessary training and certifications to comply as follows:
Will the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the local municipal Building Inspectors require MN residential contractors to have Firm Certification and RRP training?
A 2010 MN Legislative Action titled SF3128 – Lead Certification addresses this question and has an effective date of August 1, 2011. This Legislation Action addresses the following four points.
If a general contractor hires a subcontractor to work at a renovation site, does the subcontractor need to be a certified firm if the subcontractor does not disturb any paint?
Firms performing tasks that disturb no painted surfaces whatsoever do not need to be certified. 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.
As 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 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.
My firm acts as a general contractorówe subcontract the entire renovation job to other companies rather than using our own employees. Under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, does my firm need to have a certified renovator at the job site?
Not necessarily. All firms performing renovations, including general contractors, must ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator.
A firm acting as a general contractor may satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that also takes responsibility for ensuring that all individuals performing the renovation activities are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator.
With respect to assigning a certified renovator who is responsible for any OJT and regularly directing other workers, a firm acting as a general contractor may satisfy this requirement by hiring another certified firm that, in turn, assigns a certified renovator to the job. However, this does not discharge the general contractor's liability to ensure compliance with the RRP Rule.
Under the RRP Rule, can a certified renovator supervise workers of a different company, or must each firm involved in a project furnish a certified renovator?
All firms performing renovations must ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator. The RRP Rule does not prohibit firms from reaching agreement on which firm will supply the certified renovator who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the RRP Rule and who directs and trains non-certified workers. All firms remain liable for ensuring compliance with the RRP Rule.
When testing a work area, does one spot-test kit suffice for any single component? What if a component's surface area is extensive (e.g., a large wall)?
The certified renovator is only required to use one spot-test kit for each component, even if the surface of the component is extensive (e.g., a large wall).
Is an electronic version of the lead information pamphlet sent to the customer via e-mail an acceptable means of distributing the information?
The distribution of the lead information pamphlet (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 e-mail 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.
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?
No. Projects that do not disturb a painted surface are not subject to the RRP Rule.
How does a firm or renovator document or confirm the age of the structure? Is a signed statement by the occupant sufficient? Can publicly available information such as tax records be sufficient?
Renovation firms are responsible for determining the age of the property. The property owner is likely to be a good source of information on the age of a home or other building, but the firm may not rely on the statement of the property owner as to the construction date of the building if there is evidence to the contrary. If in doubt, renovation firms can use tax assessments, property records, and similar information to determine the date of construction. Finally, the renovation firm may always assume that a home or child-occupied facility was constructed before 1978.
Will EPA issue a final rule removing the opt-out, and if it does, when will the rule become effective?
As of April 22, 2010, EPA has issued a rule revoking the opt-out provision of the 2008 Lead RRP Rule; it takes effect July 6, 2010.
My firm is performing a renovation in an unoccupied home that will be put up for sale when work is done. Does the RRP Rule apply to this renovation?
Yes. Temporarily unoccupied or vacant housing is not exempt from the requirements of the RRP Rule.
The Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule requires HEPA vacuums to be used for cleaning up the dust created by renovations. What should I look for when purchasing a HEPA vacuum?
According to the definition in 40 CFR 745.83:
If a renovator uses the required practices to remove containment and clean a work area, then performs successful cleaning verification, can the balance of the project be done using uncertified workers and without reference to the work practices required by the RRP Rule?
Yes, as long as the balance of the project can be completed without disturbing a painted surface.
My firm acts as a general contractorówe subcontract the entire renovation job to other companies rather than using our own employees. Does my firm need to be a certified firm under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?
Yes. Beginning April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the RRP Rule without certification from EPA. A general contractor that subcontracts the entire renovation job to other firms must be certified as a firm for two reasons. First, the contractual agreement between the general contractor and the subcontractor is based on the general contractor's offer to renovate the property of a third party for compensation. The RRP Rule requires a contractor that makes such an offer to be certified as a firm. Second, once the offer is accepted, the general contractor is obligated to perform a renovation in accordance with the terms of the contract, whether written or oral. Even if the general contractor chooses to fulfill its obligation to perform the renovation by hiring subcontractors, the general contractor is performing a renovation for purposes of the RRP rule and must comply with all the requirements of the rule that apply to firms performing renovations.
If new siding has been put over old lead-based exterior paint, and I am repainting that siding, must I comply with the new regulations?
Yes. The RRP Rule applies to repainting the new siding unless the siding has been determined to be free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2) or 0.5% by weight. This determination can be made by a certified inspector or risk assessor or by a certified renovator using an EPA-recognized test kit.
This is the case even if the old lead-based paint is not disturbed when the new siding is repainted.
If my firm already has abatement certification, is separate RRP certification necessary?
RRP firm certification is not required to perform lead abatements. However, if your firm performs, offers, or claims to perform renovations as well as abatements after April 22, 2010, it must be a certified renovation firm.
Under the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, when testing a property for the presence of lead prior to beginning a renovation using an EPA-recognized test kit, must I test every component affected by the renovation?
Yes. Because certified renovator training does not cover sampling protocols, certified renovators using EPA-recognized test kits to determine the applicability of the RRP Rule must test each and every component that will be affected in order to determine that the RRP Rule does not apply to a particular renovation.
Can a renovator use innovative work methods and or containment strategies that ultimately comply with the RRP Rule performance objectives of containment, or do they need to follow the requirements for plastic containment? For example, can a renovator set up a tent-like structure of plastic on the interior in front of a window replacement and a plastic bubble outside the building over the same window that effectively contains/captures any exterior lead disturbance?
The renovator must comply with the requirements of the RRP Rule for containing the work area. The rule specifies minimum requirements that apply to all jobs, as well as stating a performance standard that containment must be established in such a way that dust or debris does not spread beyond the work area.
The containment described in the question could be used as long as the minimum standards prescribed in the RRP Rule are also met for removing objects from the work area, closing and covering ducts, closing windows and doors, covering floors, and making sure tools and personnel are free of dust and debris before leaving the work area.
Must workers on a renovation site wear full disposable suits, NIOSH dual filter respirators, goggles, hoods, rubber gloves, and rubber boots?
No. The RRP Rule requires the renovation firm to use precautions to ensure that all personnel, tools, and other items are free of dust and debris before leaving the work area. Workers with contaminated clothing could take that contamination home to their own children, and taking contaminated equipment to another job site could potentially create a lead hazard at the new site. There are several ways of ensuring that gloves, shoes, and other clothing are free of dust and debris before leaving the work area. For example, tacky mats may be put down immediately adjacent to the plastic sheeting covering the work area floor to remove dust and debris from the bottom of the workers' shoes as they leave the work area. If workers wear shoe covers, they may remove them as they leave the work area. Clothing and materials may be wet-wiped and/or HEPA-vacuumed before they are removed from the work area.
A property management company performs most of the clerical functions of the business and hires plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and so forth, for its renovation needs. Does the property management company need firm certification to comply with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?
A property management company acts as an agent for the landlord and has the same responsibilities as the landlord under the RRP Rule. Therefore, if the property management company uses its own employees to do the work, the property management company must be a certified firm, and one of the employees must be a certified renovator.
If the property management company hires a renovation firm to perform the renovation, the property management company does not need firm or renovator certification, but the firm the property management company hires must be certified and must perform the renovation using a certified renovator that directs and provides on-the-job training to any workers that are not certified renovators.
If a doorway to a room is outside the containment area, does the door need to be covered with plastic?
If the containment area is smaller than the entire room, and the door is not within the containment area, you do not need to cover the door with plastic. However, all personnel, tools, and other items, including the exterior of containers of waste, must be free of dust and debris when leaving the work area.
If the demolition, cleanup, and cleaning verification portion of a renovation project is performed under the direction of a certified renovator using trained workers, can uncertified workers complete the job if further disturbances of painted surfaces will not occur? For example, a certified firm establishes containment and removes wall and ceiling boards to the rough framing members. Cleaning and verification take place, and containment is removed and properly disposed of. At this point, can non-certified firms perform electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or drywall work?
Yes. Activities that do not disturb paint, such as applying paint to walls that have already been prepared, are not regulated by the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule if they are conducted after post-renovation cleaning verification has been performed.
What mil plastic is considered impermeable?
The regulation does not specify a particular thickness of plastic sheeting considered to be impermeable, but rather includes a performance standard. The performance standard requires firms to isolate the work area, prevent dust and debris from exiting, and ensure plastic sheeting is not torn or displaced. Certain guidance materials recommend the use of 6 mil plastic sheeting, such as HUD's Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint in Hazards in Housing. However, for the purpose of Renovation, Repair, and Painting regulation, a contractor should choose one or more layers of plastic sheeting of a sufficient thickness to prevent puncture based on the circumstances of the particular project.
How do RRP requirements apply to pressure washing? What containment and other preparation are required?
Pressure washing is not a prohibited practice under the RRP Rule. Pressure washing is subject to the same containment requirements as other permissible work practices. Before beginning the renovation, the firm must isolate the work area so that no dust or debris (including in the waste water) leaves the work area while the renovation is being performed. In addition, the firm must maintain the integrity of the containment by ensuring that any plastic or other impermeable materials are not torn or displaced and by taking any other steps necessary to ensure that no dust or debris leaves the work area while the renovation is being performed. The firm must also ensure that containment is installed in such a manner that it does not interfere with occupant and worker egress in an emergency.
In addition, it is important to properly dispose of waste water used during pressure washing. Check with your local water treatment authority for more information.
What type of container is adequate for on-site storage of debris? Must the container be covered and locked? Must it be placed behind a locked barrier?
At the conclusion of each work day and at the conclusion of the renovation, waste that has been collected from renovation activities must be stored under containment, in an enclosure, or behind a barrier that prevents release of dust and debris out of the work area and prevents access to dust and debris. Using a covered container is one way to prevent release of dust and debris. Locking the container and placing it behind a locked barrier are good examples of ways to prevent access to the dust and debris.
If a remodeling company that is a certified firm uses all contractual workers rather than employees, must each contractual worker be a certified renovator, or can the workers be trained on the job by a certified renovator employed by the firm?
Firms hiring contractual workers may provide the certified renovator that oversees the renovation project and provides on-the-job training to contractual workers and other non-certified workers.
If I rent out apartments built before 1978, in order to comply with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, do I need to get firm and renovator certification if I do my own work on them? What if I hire a renovation firm to do the work?
With respect to landlords, EPA believes that there are two circumstances where work being done in a pre-1978 apartment is for compensation, such that the landlord must be a certified firm and use (or be) a certified renovator. First, if the landlord does the renovation himself, then the landlord must have firm and renovator certification. Second if an employee of the landlord does the renovation work, then the landlord must have firm certification and the employee must be a certified renovator.
However, if the landlord hires a renovation firm to perform the renovation, the landlord does not need firm or renovator certification, but the firm hired by the landlord must be certified and must perform the renovation using a certified renovator that directs and provides on-the-job training to any workers that are not certified renovators.
If I paint without disturbing the surface of the existing paint, can I use a tarp instead of 6 mil plastic?
Yes. Projects that do not disturb a painted surface are not subject to the RRP Rule.
Under the RRP Rule, can the required records and documentation be stored electronically rather than as paper copies?
Yes. The renovation firm is responsible for retaining and making available to EPA all records necessary to demonstrate compliance with the RRP Rule for a period of three years following completion of the renovation. The RRP Rule does not specify the format in which records must be kept.
I have heard that if I use the warning signs EPA recommends in its model course, I will be in violation of OSHA rules. Is this true?
The picture of a warning sign in the EPA model course is not intended to satisfy OSHA's requirements. However, a firm subject to both rules can satisfy both the OSHA requirements and the RRP Rule requirements by posting only the OSHA sign.
Firms must post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area. To the extent practicable, these signs must be in the primary language of the occupants. These signs must be posted before beginning the renovation and must remain in place and readable until the renovation and the post-renovation cleaning verification have been completed.
Does the RRP rule apply to simple painting activities that occur when rental properties turn over? Approximately half of the rental units in the country get new tenants each year. This means a large number of properties are being repeated.
If there is no surface preparation that disturbs the existing paint prior to painting, the RRP Rule does not apply. If you disturb paint by scraping or sanding while preparing the surface, the RRP Rule applies.
Can contractors submit their application to EPA before they complete the required training, or must the application be submitted after the training is complete? Is there a proof of training required by the EPA in order for the contractor's application to be approved?
To become a certified renovator, you must successfully complete a renovation training course taught by an accredited training provider. The course completion certificate serves as your proof of certification—no application to EPA is necessary. If you are a sole proprietorship or individual doing business as a renovation firm, you must also become a certified firm by submitting a completed Application for Firms with the correct amount of fees. As part of your application, you will be required to certify that your firm will comply with the requirements of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule, including ensuring that all individuals performing renovations activities on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator.
No proof of training is required at the time you submit your application.
When waste from renovations has been removed from the work area and placed in on-site storage, may the waste be stored in a covered waste container or must it all be bagged for disposal?
Properly implemented, either option can meet the requirements of the RRP Rule. At the conclusion of each work day and at the conclusion of the renovation, waste that has been collected from renovation activities must be stored under containment, in an enclosure, or behind a barrier that prevents release of dust and debris out of the work area and prevents access to dust and debris. Storing the waste in a covered waste container is one way to meet this requirement if the waste container prevents release of dust and debris. Containing the waste in closed trash bags can also prevent release of dust and debris. Locking the dumpster and placing it behind a locked barrier are good examples of ways to prevent access to the dust and debris.
What kind of containment do I need to set up for a door that is outside the containment area, but is used by workers to reach the exterior of the home?
If the door is not within the containment area, you do not need to cover the door with plastic. However, all personnel, tools, and other items, including the exterior of containers of waste, must be free of dust and debris when leaving the work area.
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