Oh boy, here we go again. As a quick history recap – The following “proposed” & open for “public comment” changes to the RRP are due in part to the Sierra Club settlement that the EPA agreed to back on August 26, 2009. In this settlement, the EPA committed to propose (more like implement) several changes to the RRP rule, broken out over time. This is quite simply the second batch of changes, which will be implemented unless their is some strong opposition. Below is a quick Clif Notes version of the proposed changes.
§ 745.82 Applicability
They added a new section under paragraph (a) – which allows a certified renovator to collect and send in paint chip samples now. (Wow, a change that actually makes sense)
§ 745.83 Definitions
They added the term “containment” which is pretty vanilla until you hit the part about vertical containment being “required for some Exterior Renovations”
§ 745.85 Work practice standards
- Exterior Containment – oh boy will this be fun – any exterior renovations that come within 10’ of a property line will require vertical containment (I guess we will need plat maps and surveyors to come out now)
- Prohibited practices are still the same, except that they apply to all painted surfaces now, not just lead-based paint surfaces
Clearance Test #1 (still under 745.85)
Woo hoo, no Swifter Test required, but you will be required hire someone to perform a mandatory dust clearance exam if you demolish more than 6 SF of lathe & plaster, or use any high speed machine (which is already required to be hooked up to a HEPA vacuum)
Time lines – after the samples are taken, the inspector has one business day to transmit the test for analysis. When the inspector receives the results back (no time limit on the lab) the inspector has 3 business days to prepare and deliver the inspection report. If any one area fails, you need to get it re-cleaned & tested till it passes. They did add one interesting waiver in here – “(v) For surfaces in poor condition that the renovation firm did not specifically agree to refinish in the renovation contract, the renovation firm may stop re-cleaning and re-testing after the second failed dust wipe test on that surface.”
Clearance Test #2 (still under 745.85)
Think you are off the hook? Not so quick, did you use a heat gun, remove or replace a window or doorframe, scrape 60 ft2 or more of painted surfaces or remove more than 40 ft2 of trim, molding, cabinets, or other fixtures? If so not only must you do the Swifter Test, but you have to have a clearance test completed.
Now for all those of you that think that this will protect you from a lawsuit, have I got news for you. The EPA doesn’t care what the results are, there is no second test required. The lab & inspector gather together the report just like above and hand it to you. You then get to hand it directly to the Homeowner. Directly from the regulation “if one or more final dust wipe tests equals or exceeds the applicable clearance standards, a statement that any dust lead levels that equal or exceed the clearance standards will demonstrate that a lead-based paint hazard is present after the work is completed..”
§ 745.86 Recordkeeping and reporting requirements
Dust clearance reports must now be presented to the owner within 3 days of reciept, instead of 30 days after completion of the project.
I smell a lawsuit
I really do wonder how this will stack up in a lawsuit. A homeowner can flat out refuse to have this done, per the EPA’s own regulations. Or did we forget…
745.61 (c) Nothing in this subpart requires the owner of property(ies) subject to these standards to evaluate the property(ies) for the presence of lead-based paint hazards or take any action to control these conditions if one or more of them is identified.
As a reminder, you only have until July 6th to make your voice heard at http://www.regulations.gov/ on the above Clearance and Testing Requirements aka RIN 2070–AJ57. A full copy of this docket is located here: RIN 2070–AJ57. There is also a second proposal to expand the RRP to Public and Commercial Buildings sector RIN 2070–AJ56, which will needlessly have some far reaching impacts also.