The EPA has done it again. This time with their lead RRP Rule.
They take a known health risk like lead paint exposure and 33 years after lead paint stopped being used in homes (1978) the EPA lumbers into action with what is known as the lead paint RRP Rule. The RRP Rule is technically called the "Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program" and is intended to address lead based paint hazards created by activities from renovation, repair, and painting that disturb lead based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities (for children under 6 years of age).
A laudable objective maybe sometime in the past 30 years, but now when the MINIMUM threshold of what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers an Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) of children under 6 years has been reduced to less than 0.5% of all children under 6 years (meaning the problem is already 99.5% solved), the RRP Rule is a classic example of expensive government over-regulation and diminishing returns.
I explain all about this regulation that your home painting contractor may have to comply with in the tutorial: The new EPA Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.
Although the RRP Rule went into effect April 22, 2010, the EPA is now flexing it's enforcement muscle. The price for non-compliance and not respecting the EPA's Authority? Try fines up to $37,500.00 per day per violation. One Rockland, Maine contractor Colin Wentworth is now facing $150,000 in violations from the EPA.
The RRP Rule requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects involving more than 6 square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than 20 square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement or demolition in target housing and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 to follow very specific procedures. Now a project over 6 square feet may be treated like a haz mat situation. Thanks EPA!
These new procedures include certification of the contractor's company, certification and training of the contractor's staff, posting warning signs on the risk of lead poisoning, containing or enclosing the work area with plastic sheets (yes, they will end up in the landfill), use of special HEPA sanders and other equipment, preventing common paint removal tools such as heat guns, wetting down the work area, daily wet mopping, documentation and record keeping of how the Rule was adhered to and maintaining those records for 3 years in case of an EPA audit, "educating" the occupants of the home about the hazards and risks of lead paint exposure during construction and giving them an EPA brochure called The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right and so on.
So the same authority granted EPA "Administrators" that allowed it to declare carbon dioxide an environmental pollutant yet encourages you to fill your home with neurotoxin mercury vapor filled CFL lamps through its energy Star division, is now declaring with its new EPA rule, that drilling into your plaster wall which was painted sometime in its history with lead paint, creates a dangerous lead dust hazard...
No, I could not make this stuff up if I tried.
Learn about the new EPA Rule here.