Tick Tock Tick Tock
With all the talk of market recovery, tax credits expiring, new Truth in Lending guidelines, this one may have snuck up on you. Yes, the EPA’s new law requiring contractors to be certified to do renovations on homes built before 1978 will go in effect a scant two days from now on April 22nd.
From the EPA Website:
“To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.”
From what I can tell the exclusions are owner’s working on his/her own home, areas that are less than 6 sq feet indoors and 20 sq feet outdoors, and homes that have been tested for lead by a certified professional. Landlords renovating their own properties are required to be certified or hire a certified professional. Windows are NOT considered a minor repair and will not be exempt. Renovators working on properties they own but intend to sell don’t seem to be addressed so far in my research.
The penalties can be up to 37k a day and anyone can report the violation including a neighbor and you will be investigated. There are states that have opted and been approved by the EPA to administer their own programs including: Wisconsin, Iowa, North Carolina, and Mississippi. Each of these states should have details of their program on their State Govt. Websites.
Info for Realtors:
The NAR has posted a series of videos addressing how these new laws will affect our industry.
It sounds pretty life altering but the EPA suggests for contractors and painters that have been following previous EPA guidelines on reno jobs, should only see about a $65 per job jump in their costs. The EPA continues to provide the certification course and their webpage on lead is extremely comprehensive if you would like to pass along more information to your clients.