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EPA Announces New Guidance on Repairing Properties with Lead-based Paint

Lead-based Paint

On March 23, as part of the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform priorities, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two important updates regarding the Lead Repair, Renovation, and Paint (RRP) Rule.

The agency, which had been contemplating these updates in response to the destructive storms of the past year, has issued its answers on two crucial points regarding recordkeeping: How to reflect the job was subject to an emergency renovation as well as clarifications on what constitutes a “whole-house gut rehabilitation project.”

In each case, EPA provided a new FAQ entry.

These updates are most important for work in the areas hardest hit by the hurricanes in the fall of 2017, such as the Gulf Coast. Contractors, property owners and operators will now be able to more efficiently conduct repair work, helping hard-hit communities recover faster.

The EPA’s Inspector General also recently sent out notification that the office will review the agency’s overall implementation of the RRP Rule. The aim of the review is to determine whether the EPA has an effective strategy to enforce the RRP, as well as if it will support businesses seeking compliance. Any improvements under the RRP are welcome news to the real estate community, as reform is sorely needed. Owners and contractors have struggled to comply with the onerous provisions of the RRP rule since it was since it went into effect in 2008 (with additional amendments in 2010 and 2011). 

The RRP Rule requires contractors certify through the EPA any work conducted in properties where lead paint is present. RRP also requires that contractors hire only specially trained workers. In some areas, it is extremely difficult to find workers who have this special qualification. The RRP rule’s certification requirements are burdensome and contribute to the labor shortage in the construction industry, which leads to downstream project delays and higher costs. 

NAA expects the EPA to continue its review of all of the federal regulations relating to lead-based paint. As always, NAA stands ready as a resource for the apartment industry.

For more information regarding lead-based paint regulations at the federal, state and local level, please contact Holly Charlesworth via email or at 347-957-7759.