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Lead Paint Rule's Opt-Out Provision Ends July 6

The EPA has gone forward with its proposal to eliminate a provision to its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule that previously allowed owners of older homes to opt-out of the lead-safe work practices mandated by the rule if no children under six or pregnant women resided in their home. An amendment that makes this rule change official was published in the Federal Register on May 6, with an effective date of July 6. This means that after July 6, 2010, renovations in all 78 million pre-1978 homes could be subject to the new work practice standards as stipulated in the rule. This is despite EPA’s own estimates that a significantly smaller portion of homes — more like 38 million — still contain lead paint.

The new rules also require a post-renovation notification to be presented to the home owner. This means that the remodeler must give the property owner and/or residents a copy of the post-renovation checklist or similar form. Importantly, the EPA has also extended the expiration date for any certified renovator who completed his or her training before April 22, 2010. The new expiration date is July 1, 2015.

One more thing to keep in mind: the EPA has previously given notice that it is writing another rule to require more complex dust-wipe or clearance testing, effectively requiring remodelers to fill the role of lead-paint abatement workers. If approved, this rule would become effective in July 2011.

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