Aug
04

No Third Party Clearance Testing Required

By Marri

For some time the Environmental Protection Agency had been toying with the idea of adding third party clearance testing to their Renovate, Repair and Paint Rule.  Currently the lead rule, which applies to homes built prior to 1978 and requires renovators and their firms to be certified in EPA’s lead-safe work practices, allows Renovators to perform their own visual clearance inspections following renovation work. If clearance testing were required, Renovators would no longer be able to perform their own visual inspections.

The EPA has finally announced that they have rejected this idea and will continue to allow Renovators to do their own visual inspections. Clearance testing would have required contractors to hire EPA-accredited dust samplers to collect several samples after a renovation and send them to an EPA-accredited lab for lead testing — at a cost of more than $260 per room. By EPA’s estimates, the annual cost of this rule to the remodeling industry would have been more than $400 million. The cost considerations, as well as the waiting period for test results and the limited number of accredited labs nationwide, made clearance testing unworkable.

EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. These courses are available around the country and in some areas, the class can be taken as a combination of online training and classroom hands-on training. To find classes in Oregon, visit www.oregonhba.com.

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