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DTCI: EPA addresses lead paint renovation issues

Jason M. Massaro
April 14, 2010
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After April 22, 2010, 40 C.F.R. § 745.80, et. seq. (hereinafter Act), mandates that no person or company may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations without first being certified by the Environmental Protection Agency where such renovations occur in structures that were, inter alia, constructed before 1978 and visited regularly or occupied by a child under the age of 6 or by a pregnant woman in which such structures are shown to have a high enough level of lead-based paint after testing. The structures are defined under the Act as "target housing" and "child-occupied facilities."

The Act should be consulted as its requirements far exceed the scope of this article. However, the Act can essentially be broken down into three main aspects: (1) certification and training of a renovator; (2) lead-based dust and debris containment; and (3) education of the general public about the hazards of leadbased paint.

With regard to certification, a renovator must successfully complete a course accredited by the EPA, pay a fee, and receive a certificate of completion. There is also a dust-sampling technician certification that allows dust-clearance sampling. Most renovators will want both certifications if they desire to be a full-service renovation company. Make note, however, that if work is done on HUD homes, additional training and certification requirements may apply. That notwithstanding, every five years a certified renovator must take an EPA refresher course or face loss of its certification. In addition to obtaining certification, a renovator must train its workers on the work practices they will use in performing their assigned tasks.

When performing lead-based dust removal, the Act specifically limits the allowable methods for removal and for dust and debris containment. There are also specific requirements for work-site isolation, storage of dust and debris during the renovation process, as well as containment during transportation. Moreover, when the renovation is complete, there is a litany of testing and cleaning procedures that must be followed to ensure that no lead-based paint is left behind.

Renovators must maintain specific records and reports, and make them available for inspection by the EPA upon request. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in civil and criminal sanctions under the Toxic Substances Control Act for each violation as well as revocation of certification by the EPA.

Finally, a renovator must be aware of and follow the notice and educational aspects of the Act. After April 22, 2010, all certified renovators must provide owners and occupants with a specific pamphlet prepared by the EPA entitled "Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools." This pamphlet must be given to the owner or occupant no more than 60 days before beginning renovation. Written acknowledgment of receipt of the pamphlet must be obtained as well as a certificate of mailing at least seven days before renovation. Further, while the renovation is ongoing, the renovator must post information signs describing the general nature and location of the renovation and the anticipated completion date. The signs must also be in the primary language of the occupants. How a renovator determines the "primary language of the occupants" is not set forth in the Act.

Even this brief overview of the Lead-Based Paint Renovation Act clearly demonstrates the extensive scope and magnitude of complying with the same. There is little doubt that compliance with the Act will increase the cost of the services rendered by renovation companies which will, in turn, most likely be passed on to the consumer. However, if renovators want to stay in the business of renovation, compliance with the Act is a necessary evil.


Jason M. Massaro is an attorney practicing in Indianapolis and can be reached at jason.massaro@hotmail.com. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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