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EPA RRP Deadline Looms; Thousands of Contractors not Certified (Taken from the Contractor Coaching Partnership)

Posted on December 13, 2010

The below is an excerpt of a blog post from The Contractor Coaching Partnership regarding their to-date experiences with the EPA’s Lead RRP. The final RRP Renovator Certification deadline is December 31st.

“On 12/31/2010 the EPA RRP Certified Renovator deadline ends. All contractors, landlords, property maintenance personnel, sub contractors and those who work for compensation on pre 1978 homes must be certified. Anyone who is not trained must not offer to work or work on pre 1978 homes or they will be subject to fines from the EPA. Current fines are up to $37,500 per day per offense.

On 6/18/2010 the EPA extension on fines and training caused a significant drop off for those seeking training. From 1/13/2010 to 6/30/2010 The Contractor Coaching Partnership facilitated the training for 3000 contractors. Since then we have only trained a little over 700.

Non-compliant contractors not scared of the EPA

Many contractors tell us they are not worried about becoming certified or getting caught because there have been no EPA fines.  In addition most building officials want nothing to do with the enforcement and many still have no clue as to what is going on with the law.

Trained Contractors Snubbing the EPA RRP Law Requirements                                                  

In our (The Contractor Coaching Partnership) outreach efforts we are finding that a significant percentage of contractors are not certifying their firms, not buying hepa vacuums, not implementing the practices, not setting up documentation and generally rolling the dice that the EPA will never mount a sustainable enforcement effort. They say homeowners don’t even know about the law and when it is brought up the homeowner says I don’t care and I don’t want to pay more.

What will 2011 bring?

Who knows what 2011 will bring. It is obvious that until the EPA or local building officials mount a significant enforcement effort that results in fines, wide contractor compliance will continue to move slowly. Meanwhile, compliant contractors who have stepped up to the plate, will have to deal with ineffective and non-existent enforcement in most areas.

Will OSHA have an impact on enforcement?

The RRP Lead Law requires that contractors comply with OSHA Lead Laws. Most residential contractors have little or no experience with  the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard. However, contractors who don’t comply with it and get caught, face huge fines. In some states like Massachusetts, contractors are required to submit a respirator and worker protection program to obtain the lead license. The OSHA fines for serious violations are $7,000 and for willful violations $70,000. If OSHA starts enforcing the standard, these fines will likely have an indirect effect leading to RRP compliance.”

The above post is from The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog.