Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency completed implementation of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, which requires builders and remodeling contractors to comply with strict lead containment requirements. Remodelers must test for lead paint if they are disturbing an area greater than six square feet in a home, school, or child care facility built before 1978. If lead paint is detected, builders must comply with stringent health safety requirements and file a great deal of paperwork and documentation that must be kept for three years. Enforcement of the RRP Rule began on October 1st 2010 after being delayed due to pressure from the construction industry. Builders who fail to meet or ignore the safety requirements could be subjected to fines of up to $37,500 per day per violation. Small remodeling companies simply cannot risk incurring such a devastating cost. Despite this, there is still a lot of confusion among construction professionals about what supplies and procedures are needed to comply and whether or not it is worth the additional cost.
Many builders and remodeling contractors are simply ignoring the RRP Rule and assuming that they will not be caught. This is a mistake that could cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. EPA enforcement officials can fine builders for violations that occurred up to three years prior – meaning that if builders are ignoring the rule today, they could be paying for it several years from now. Another thing to consider is human health – lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage in children and adults alike. Allowing your workers to be exposed to high levels of lead over long periods is damaging to their health. Occupants of the home being renovated may suffer health problems from lead dust inhalation. Children and pregnant women are especially at risk.
The reputation of your business is also a thing to consider. Obeying the law and stressing to customers that you care about public safety will ensure customers trust your business and may increase referrals. Attempting to avoid or ignore health safety regulation is an irresponsible business tactic and decreases your business’ credibility.
If you are a builder or remodeling contractor who is confused or distressed about the RRP Rule, you are not alone. There are many online resources that can help you wade through the glut of information to get the straight facts. Online forums have sprung up specifically to address questions regarding RRP compliance. There are also several companies that can help builders and remodeling contractors figure out which supplies they need to fully comply with the RRP Rule. Builders Site Protection, the RRP Compliance Shop, Nikro Industries, and LeadPro Tools have all developed lead containment kits that include necessary products. Builders Site Protection even offers a discount on related supplies including plastic sheeting and personal protection when builders purchase a lead containment kit.