RRP Rule

The EPA began requiring firms and workers to be certified in Lead-Safe Practices effective April 22, 2010. According to the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule, “no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations without certification from EPA under 40 CFR 745.89 in target housing or child-occupied facilities.”

Some groups who will be affected by this regulation are:

  • contractors, including general, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC
  • renovation and property rehab firms
  • painters
  • window installers
  • cabinet and countertop installers
  • tile and marble installers
  • maintenance personnel in child occupied facilities, such as day-care facilities, churches, and schools
  • some interior designers and decorators

Effective January 1, 2011, the State of Alabama will administer the RRP program in the state. In addition to the requirements set forth in the EPA’s rule, Alabama will require that individuals register with the state, register their firms with the state, and register their jobs.

The purpose of the rule

This rule was developed to minimize the risk of lead-based paint poisoning to residents and workers resulting from home repair and renovation projects. Lead poisonings happen every year, and not always to the people that you think would be at risk.

  • Workers bring leaded dust home and poison their families.
  • Construction in common areas of multi-tenant buildings can expose every tenant and their families to contamination.
  • Home owners, neighbors, and passers by can be poisoned from leaded dust from construction sites.

What is target housing?

According to the EPA, target housing is, “any housing constructed before 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any child under age 6 resides or is expected to reside in such housing) or any 0–bedroom dwelling.”

What is a child occupied facility?

According to the EPA, a Child-Occupied Facility is, “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 2 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.

Child-occupied facilities may include, but are not limited to, day care centers, preschools and kindergarten classrooms. Child-occupied facilities may be located in target housing or in public or commercial buildings. With respect to common areas in public or commercial buildings that contain child-occupied facilities, the child-occupied facility encompasses only those common areas that are routinely used by children under age 6, such as restrooms and cafeterias. Common areas that children under age 6 only pass through, such as hallways, stairways, and garages are not included.

In addition, with respect to exteriors of public or commercial buildings that contain child–occupied facilities, the child–occupied facility encompasses only the exterior sides of the building that are immediately adjacent to the child–occupied facility or the common areas routinely used by children under age 6.”

What does this mean for you?

In order to advertise or to perform work on homes and buildings built before 1978 OR in property that is considered a child occupied facility, you AND your firm MUST be certified!

Penalties for noncompliance include fines of $37,500 per incident and possible jail time of up to 1 year per incident!

This rule places responsibility for due diligence and proper work practices on the renovator. Essentially, unless you can prove that lead-based paint is not present, you must assume that it is present and use lead-safe work practices. Certified Renovators must supervise each job, and they must train workers in safe work paractices. The Certified Firm must maintain records for each job and must document all training that workers receive.

How can I get certified?

Job supervisors must become Certified Renovators by completing the Lead Safetey for Renovation, Repair, and Painting course. Certified Renovators will then become responsible for training and supervising non-certified workers in proper lead safety practices. Once the training has been completed, the Certified Renovator will be eligible to work in any EPA governed state. In states with their own program, the Renovator will then be required to register with the state.

Firms must become registered by submitting an application to the EPA and paying a fee. In Alabama or any other state that has taken over the program, firms should apply to the state instead of to the EPA. Any firm working in multiple states will need to register the firm in any state that runs its own program as well as with the EPA if it works in states that are EPA governed.