Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency completed implementation of the Renewal, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, which requires builders and remodeling contractors to adhere to strict lead containment requirements. Renovators must test for lead paint if they are disrupting an area larger than six square feet in a home, school, or childcare facility built before 1978. If lead paint is detected, builders must comply with strict health safety requirements and create multiple files. Paperwork and documents that must be kept for three years. The implementation of the RRP Rule began on October 1, 2010, after it was delayed due to pressure from the construction industry. Builders who fail to meet or ignore safety requirements can be fined up to $37,500 per day per violation. Small remodeling companies simply can’t take the risk of incurring such a devastating cost. Despite this, there is still a lot of confusion among construction professionals about what materials and procedures are required to comply and whether they are worth the additional cost.
Many builders and remodeling contractors ignore the RRP Rule and assume they won’t get caught. This is a mistake that can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. EPA enforcement officials can fine builders for violations up to three years ago—meaning that if builders are ignoring the rule today, they’ll be paying for it a few years from now. Another thing to consider is human health – lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage in both children and adults. Allowing your workers to be exposed to high levels of lead for extended periods of time harms their health. Residents of the renovated home may experience health problems from breathing lead dust. Children and pregnant women are particularly at risk.
The reputation of your business is also something to consider. Complying with the law and emphasizing to customers that you care about public safety builds customers’ trust in your business and can increase referrals. Trying to avoid or ignore health safety regulations is an irresponsible business tactic and undermines the credibility of your business.
If you are a builder or remodeling contractor who is confused or distressed about the RRP Rule, you are not alone. There are many online resources that can help you go through the plethora of information to get the right facts. Online forums have sprung up specifically to address questions about RRP compatibility. There are also several companies that can help builders and remodeling contractors understand what supplies they need to fully comply with the RRP Rule. Builders Site Protection, RRP Compatibility Store, Nicro Industries, and LeadPro Tools have all advanced lead containment kits that contain the necessary products. Builders Site Protection even offers discounts on related consumables, including plastic sheeting and personal protection, when builders purchase a lead containment kit.