EPA’s New Lead Paint Law

The Renovate, Repair and Painting Rule will affect you when you go to paint, repair or remodel your pre-1978 home — unless you do the work yourself.  The rule states that contractors working on such homes must:

  • Have their firm registered with EPA
  • Have EPA-Certified Renovators on staff
  • Use mandated lead safe dust-containment and clean-up protocols
  • Document all compliance measures

Okay, okay, you say, but what does that have to do with homeowners? Here’s what.

  • EPA will enforce the rule by shutting down home projects with non-compliant contractors indefinitely. Picture a stop work order on a demolished kitchen.
  • When you sell your home, you are required to disclose known lead to potential buyers. If you can’t show that your work was performed by EPA-certified contractors using lead safe practices, the value of your home may be affected.

The rule will apply to any work that disturbs more than 6 sq. ft. of painted interior surfaces or more than 20 sq. ft. of painted exterior surfaces. That covers a lot of projects. But minor work and most energy improvements will be exempt.

The EPA will not carry out a public awareness campaign until later this year. Please spread the word to your friends. Ask before hiring any sort of contractor or painter:  Are you EPA Lead-Safe Certified? If you get a blank stare, get another contractor.