|The successful Exterior Lead Paint Removal Certification Program in Rhode Island, which was introduced in April 2005, has entered its next phase with the assistance of another EPA grant.
The program is designed to improve compliance by painting contractors with environmental regulations that pertain to exterior lead paint removal. The certification program is broadly based on compliance with DEM Air Pollution Control Regulation # 24, entitled, "Removal of Exterior Lead Based Paint from Exterior Surfaces" (http://www.state.ri.us/dem/pubs/regs/index.htm#Air"). It also covers cleanup of lead paint contaminated debris and disposal guidelines. It is important to note that all parties removing exterior lead paint, including homeowners performing the work themselves, must comply with Regulation # 24, meaning that information provided through the program will be helpful to do-it-yourself homeowners as well as painting contractors.
The program also addresses compliance with the federal Pre-Renovation Education Rule (40 CFR, Part 745, Lead). Under federal law, renovators and painters renovating (including paint removal) housing built before 1978 must provide lead information to residents, in a pamphlet titled "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home," before starting work and obtain a signature acknowledging receipt of the pamphlet.
This program is a partnership between the Rhode Island DEM and Department of Health (DOH), the EPA Region 1-NE, Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission, and the University of Rhode Island Center for Pollution Prevention & Environmental Health. This joint program is intended to be ongoing, with certification to be administered every two years. Participation in the program is voluntary, with benefits to certified painting contractors including:
-Free consultation from DEM's Office of Technical & Customer Assistance staff for assistance in complying with applicable environmental requirements.
-Being placed on a list of certified paint contractors on DEM's website.
-Use as a marketing tool with customers.
-Receiving Certificate of Participation from DEM.
-Receiving educational and promotional materials.
-Receiving referral information and assistance for appropriate training opportunities, as they become available.
This is a voluntary initiative, and RI DEM emphasizes the benefits of participation by the industry. These include free technical assistance, receiving a Certificate of Participation, and being placed on a public list of certified paint contractors.
RI DEM’s webpage for exterior lead paint removal continues to be a valuable resource for contractors and the general public and contains documents and information for the certification program, the list of certified contractors, as well as general information on exterior lead paint removal.
RI DEM staff is participating in a Quality Control Workgroup with representatives from the RI Department of Health, the RI Housing Resources Commission, the RI Childhood Lead Action Project, and the Community College of Rhode Island to review the inspection and training processes associated with the Rhode Island Lead Hazard Mitigation Law, with the goal of reviewing current practices, and making recommendations to improve the processes.
Since early 2007, RI DEM staff has participated in a Lead Rehabilitation Sub-Committee chaired by Rhode Island Housing, to develop and discuss a draft remediation plan to be provided to the Rhode Island Attorney General, to be part of the Lead remediation plan that will guide usage of the DuPont lead paint settlement between DuPont and the Attorney General.
The Exterior Lead Paint Removal Certification Program introduced its second round of certification to painting contractors in September 2007.
There are currently 43 participating contractors.
EPA issued the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule on March 31, 2008, with a goal of protecting children from lead-based paint hazards. This rule requires contractors that work in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities to follow lead-safe work practice standards to reduce potential exposure of children to dangerous levels of lead.
Implementation of the EPA rule began in June, and all components of the rule will be in effect by June 2010.