EPA “Lead-Safe” Mandated Certification
While we would all recognize the health and environmental dangers of lead, is the new EPA mandate for training, certification, registration and reporting for renovation, repair & painting contractors (with $32,500 fines for non-compliance) helpful in the reduction of unintentional lead poisoning, necessary in order to meet this goal, or simply another unfunded mandate and government intrusion into the lives and working habits of Americans? Is it reasonable that sole proprietor small-scale contractors are treated the same as large corporate renovation companies? Is there a better way to encourage safe practice at our renovation sites?
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part
Even though the new lead mandate has been in the works for a while, the April 22, 2010 start date caught most by surprise. The local building officials where I live have no information to date on who or how this will work, I gave them a copy of the information I received as part of my builders continuing ed.
We banned lead from paint in 1978, yet toys with high levels of lead paint were being imported into this country recently. The rules have to apply fairly across the board including imports. I am in favor of the lead safe practices along with other new safeguards like radon protection in new construction. I am somewhat concerned the new lead mandates may drive a number of building projects underground, bypassing the new regulations altogether.
Come on green weenies, you must have an opinion on this new mandate? Don't nobody talk politics on these "politically correct" websites?
Vermont, always ahead of the nation on environmental and health issues, has mandated lead-safe practices in rental housing and child-care facilities since 1996. The VT law applies to any disturbance greater than 1 square foot inside of out, while the EPA rules apply to all housing and any disturbance greater than 6 SF inside or 20 SF outside. Both rules apply to us Vermont contractors, with two different enforcement agencies.
The EPA Lead-Safe Work Practices are very demanding and time-consuming and, some may argue, impractical and unreasonable for small contractors. Yet the same standards apply whether you employ 100 or work by yourself.
How many of you have taken the 8-hour training? How many of you intend to fully comply with the new standards (be honest, now)?
And do the EPA Lead Safe Work Practices apply to those who are not contractors but work on buildings they own? Or, are we allowed to poison ourselves and our surrounding with impunity?
The new EPA rules apply to landlords, property maintenance people, renovators and painters who work on private residential, rental units/apartments, or any facility that contains children such as schools or child-care facilities that were built before the lead paint ban in 1978.
As established in legal precedent and statutory law, every individual has the right to poison themselves, including the use of the most toxic chemical stew every devised: tobacco smoke, which contains 4000 chemicals, 250 of which are toxic with 50 identified as carcinogens - and which causes 50,000 deaths per year in the US in addition to a million illnesses.