Near the end of an 8 hour day of the continuing education required each year for NC real estate brokers, I perked up when I heard real estate trainer and stand up comedian Bill Gallagher talking about a new EPA regulation requiring that all paint disturbing work done in homes built before 1978, in day care facilities, and in other facilities occupied by children be done by EPA (or State)Certified Renovators . This took effect 4/22/10. The federal fines for non compliance can be $37,500. per violation. The NC fine is $750. Compliance with this law is required of owners, managers, and contractors.
Because I have a job pending that will require a certified renovator, I made some inquiries to see what is involved. The path I took was to enroll in an 8 hour class at Durham Tech from 8AM to 5PM last Friday. The goal of this new law is to make structures where children, who are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning in the early years, lead safe. The course deals with the paperwork involved in notifying people in the area affected by the work, lead testing, defining and limiting access to interior and exterior work areas, protecting surfaces from lead dust, prohibited practices ( such as removing paint with abrasive power tools ), clean up, verification of freedom from dust, and record keeping. Our course was about 1/2 day of power point lectures, then time spent actually using lead test kits, building barriers, using cleaning methods, etc., followed by review and a quiz. The cost of the course was $200.
Putting the law into practice. Considering the scope of the next renovation.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have asked around as to whether people knew about this new law. Most did not. I emailed real estate owners who are clients, and most were unaware of it. I have made it a point to let subs know, and a number have signed up for schools. The law is, that if you disturb an area with, or presumed to have, lead paint of 6 SF indoors or 20 SF on the exterior, or perform certain activities such as window replacement, you must comply with the procedures set forth in the law. I will add some links and names to this post when I am at the office. Getting the certificate, administered by the State in NC ,costs $300. Most of the stuff required for the work is basic-plastic, tape, bags, cloths. The HEPA vacuums are an equipment cost, and there are items such as telescoping poles to set up plastic containment areas that can be bought. Other supplies include EPA booklets to be handed out and lead test kits. One thing that this law has caused me and one client to consider is the benefit of completely doing away with all old painted surfaces so that this will not be a complication and expense every time a tenant moves out or a repair is needed.