NH DHHS - New EPA Lead Rule Requires Contractor’s to Be Certified

Concord, NH – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, which requires contractors to become EPA certified by April 22. The new rule applies to general contractors, renovation contractors, property managers, painters, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians who work on homes, schools, child care facilities, or other buildings built before 1978.

The goal of the new Rule is to have contractors trained in how to conduct renovation activities safely to reduce the risk of lead poisoning. Common renovation activities that disturb lead-based paint, such as sanding, cutting, and demolition, create hazardous lead dust and chips that may be harmful to children and adults. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is working with the EPA to distribute the information to contractors so they can register and become certified before the deadline.

“In New Hampshire, one in every three children who have an elevated blood lead level was poisoned from renovation work,” stated Dr. José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services. “Working safely with lead by complying with the EPA RRP Rule will decrease poisonings by reducing the degree of lead hazards following renovation activities.”

By April 22, 2010, every contractor must register as a “Certified Renovation Firm” with the EPA. In addition, contractors must complete a one-day course to be a “Certified Renovator” and start providing their employees with hands-on training in lead-safe work practices. Dangerous work practices on pre-1978 buildings, including power sanding, open-flame burning, and sandblasting on painted surfaces are prohibited by the rule.

Fines for violating the EPA RRP Rule can be up to $37,500 per incident. To find an EPA accredited RRP training provider, go to www.epa.gov/lead or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).