Given the dangers resulting from lead paint, effective April 22, 2010 new requirements went into effect for most dwelling units and common areas in structures built before 1978.
Under the EPA's Lead Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting requirements contractors hired to perform work which "disturbs" paint in pre-1978 residential housing or common area structures must be EPA certified and all individuals performing the work must either be certified renovator or must have been trained by a certified renovators. In addition, all renovations must be performed according to EPA lead safe standards and practices. The law defines renovations very broadly to include most repairs, remodeling, and maintenance activities, including window replacements. Electrical, plumbing and carpentry repairs are also subject to the law.
There are a few exemptions to the law's requirements, including the following:
- Housing built in 1978 or later;
- Housing for elderly or disabled people unless children under age six reside or are expected to reside on the premises;
- Dwellings with no bedrooms;
- Housing or components declared to be lead-free by a certified inspector or risk assessor; and
- Minor repair and maintenance activities that disturb six square feet or less of paint per room inside, or twenty square feet or less on the exterior of a home or building. However, minor repair and maintenance activities do not include window replacements and projects involving demolition or prohibited practices.
When the contractor doing the work obtains a signed statement from the owner that all of the following are met, the training, certification and work practice requirements of the rule do not apply:
- The renovation will occur in the owner's residence,
- No women who is pregnant resides on the premises,
- No child under age six resides in the premises,
- The housing is not a child-occupied facility; and
- The owner acknowledges that the renovation firm will not be required to use the work practices contained in the EPA rule.
There are penalties for violations of the law, including fines of up to $32,000 per violation, per day.