Saturday, June 23, 2007

Significant Expansion of the RRP

Pop Quiz!!

What is the over all goal of EPA’s comprehensive set of lead regulations called Title X?

Answer: To eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010.

With this in mind, it should be no surprise that during an almost two year long process of developing a regulation controlling exposure to lead on remodeling projects that the EPA would hoist the weight of their lofty goal directly upon the backs of the remodeling contractors across the country.

Let’s not forget that contractors in business today do not use lead based paint and subsequently did not create the lead paint hazards plaguing our industry. Nor are we specifically hired to remove any such hazards.

Earlier this year I talked about holding on to your hat due to the amount of activity on the RRP. Now would be one of those times.

On June 5, 2007, the EPA released a revised “Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule” (RRP). This revision expanded the scope of the RRP to include what the EPA calls ‘child occupied facilities.’

The EPA has concocted a typically governmental definition of a child occupied facility (COF). Basically, a COF is any building wear a child under six spends at least 3 hours per week for a minimum of 60 hours per year.

Schools, day care facilities, hospitals, the piano teacher’s house, dance studios, churches, grandma’s house are all included in this new scope. The RRP is not just for contractors working in old houses anymore. It has crossed into the commercial remodeling sector.

Additionally, the notification requirements that contractors must comply have expanded.

The revised RRP includes provisions requiring contractors to notify the parents or guardians of all children who meet the minimum hours of occupation in the building where the work is to take place. Contractors are to tell parents and guardians the project scope, dust control measures and the expected completion date of the project.

Just think of the time a contractor would have to spend answering the onslaught of questions from thirty to forty parents as to the potential health risks to their children and the precautions the contractor will take to safe guard their children from those risks during the renovations of say an elementary school, a hospital childrens' ward, etc.

Just think about the liability for not doing so. How much time would you spend defending a multi-party lawsuit for not following these very prescriptive requirements?

Still have your hat?