On top of problems finding reliable test kits, builders that also do remodeling can’t avoid the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule. Certified trainers such as Susan Barry in New Hampshire say the EPA is toughening enforcement of its rule, which requires certified pros to follow specific work practices when they disturb lead-based paint in homes (excluding complete teardowns) built before 1978. Fines for noncompliance go up to $37,500 per day.
As of June 30, the EPA accredited 555 training providers who have conducted more than 32,400 classes and trained 687,000 people. Barry’s company, A Better Environment, offers an eight-hour course that teaches contractors—who have included general contractors, painters, plumbers, and electricians—about lead paint, how disturbing it can affect residents and workers, how it should be removed, and what documentation is needed. The certification costs $200 per person and is good for five years.
A dozen states—Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin—offer certification programs for contractors.