25 January 2011
Dear Maintenance Men:
I heard there are new changes in the lead paint exposure laws. As an apartment owner, how does this affect me?
Beginning April 2010 new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will go into effect for anyone performing work for compensation that disturbs lead based paint in an apartment, home, childcare facilities and schools built before 1978. The person performing the work must be EPA certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
They must also provide a Renovate Right pamphlet to the residents or the manager before the job begins. The reason the new rules will affect every apartment owner is because the EPA now assumes every building has lead paint. The old rule was essentially “Don’t Test, Don’t Know”.
This is no longer the case. Since all buildings are now assumed to have lead paint, you as an owner or manager must comply with the new lead safe procedures. This can be accomplished by becoming EPA certified yourself, certifying your employees, or hiring an EPA certified contractor to do your work.
The only way to opt out of the new rules is to either have a building newer than 1978, have your building tested and get a certificate stating your building is lead free or you do your own work on your building for no compensation.