Because more than 50% of the cases of childhood lead poisoning comes from some type of work that disturbs paint in older buildings, on April 22, 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began requiring Certification and the use of Lead-Safe Work Practices of individuals and firms that may work in pre-1978 buildings. The EPA calls the program Lead Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting or simply RRP.
The company, firm or organizations is required to have at least one person on-staff, either an owner or employee, who is Lead Certified. In addition, the company must also be registered with either the EPA or State as a Lead Certified Firm.
Who Needs to be Lead Certified?
Virtually any individual, company, organization, firm or agency that performs or offers to perform work in buildings build before 1978 is required to be Lead Paint Certified.
Here are just a few of the types of companies and organizations that must be Certified:
- Builders including both General Contractors and Specialty Contractors,
- Disaster Restoration Contractors,
- Property Management Companies, Rental Property Owners and Landlords,
- House Flippers,
- Window and Door Replacement Installers,
- Siding and Roofing Contractors,
- Schools and School Districts,
- Non-Profit Weatherization, Home Repair and Maintenance organizations,
- Government Agencies, and
- Virtually any other organization or person who does work that may disturb paint in any building built before 1978.
- In addition, all sub-contractors and vendors must be Certified.
What are the penalties for not being Lead Certified?
The EPA has the authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to fine companies and individuals who do not deal with Lead Based Paint safely and according to the RRP Rules. These penalties can include fines of more than $37,500 per violation/per day.
Over the last few years there have been hundreds of fines given to contractors, landlords, home flippers, painters, window replacement companies, property management companies and others ranging from $1,000 to $500,000.
How to get Lead Certified
There are two simple steps to becoming EPA Lead Certified:
- Attend a One Day EPA Lead Paint Certification Class to become a Lead Certified Renovator. The class must be completed by either an owner or an employee of the company, firm or organization who is performing or bidding on work in a pre-1978 building.
- Register the company, firm or organization with either the EPA or State as a Lead-Based Paint Certified Firm. This cannot be done until after the Lead Certified Renovator Class is completed.
Your Certification is good for five years and must be renewed before it expires by taking a half-day Refresher Class.
How much does it cost to get Lead Certified?
There are two steps to getting Lead Paint Certified.
- Complete a one day, Lead Paint Certification Class and become a Lead Certified Renovator. Cost is typically $200-$300 per attendee.
- Register the company that will be bidding or working in pre-1978 buildings as a Lead Certified Firm with either the EPA or State depending on where you will be working. Lead Certified Firm registration costs range from $25 for 5 year up to $300 for 5 years.