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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    I wrote this for a different board, but you guys may find it interesting:

    I spent yesterday getting the eight-hour Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) training as required for compliance with the relatively new Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding lead. Before you dismiss this as not applicable to your countertop business, let’s take a quick look at the regulations and to whom they apply.

    The short version is Target Housing - any home or residential unit built on or before December 31, 1977 Lead based paint was banned for residential use in 1978. Child-Occupied Facility – a pre-1978 building that meets the following three criteria: visited regularly by the same child under six years of age, visits on two different days per week at least three hours and combined visits at least six hours and annual visits at least 60 hours.

    Can a countertop fabricator ignore the EPA’s RRP regulations? Absolutely. Just don’t do any work in residences or COF’s that you have confirmed are built before December 31, 1977. Or, if you do, don’t disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces. If you pull thirteen linear feet of 1 ½” countertop with 4” splash, you’ve disturbed just about 6 square feet. If you comply with these criteria, you can quit reading now.

    You may have read of the RRP “Opt-out” rule where homeowners sign a statement to opt out of the work practice requirements when they commit that there are no children or pregnant women in the residence. The rule is even in the fancy binder handed out in class. The rule has been rescinded by the EPA. You cannot have homeowners sign away your responsibilities under the law.

    I aced the twenty-five question test at the end of the hundred and fifty-dollar training. My picture was taken with me holding my identification and will be submitted to the EPA whereupon I will be a Certified Renovator. This status enables me to apply for and pay three hundred dollars to the EPA to become a Certified Firm. This will allow me to legally and safely disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces in residences and COF’s in pre 1978 structures, which virtually all contain lead.

    If you are interested in this continuing education, I highly recommend the folks that administered this training: http://www.michiganbuilderslicense.com/ . Although that’s the Michigan link, I think they may be national. I am a repeat customer as I took my three-hour continuing education requirements from them to enable my Michigan Residential Builder’s License renewal last month.

    The instructor told us of a roofer who had completed a fourteen-thousand dollar tear off and had a happy customer. (The rules apply to exteriors, only the footage goes up to twenty square feet disturbed.) The customer asked for a change order for soffit work. The roofer complied and didn’t think anything of the homeowner videotaping him working on the soffits. At collection, the homeowner drops the bomb. “You’re not Certified and if you don’t eat the fourteen large, I’m turning you in for contaminating my home.” The enraged roofer called his lawyer who told him he could fight it, but recommended he eat the fourteen. He did.

    Another contractor was abrading lead-based paint from the exterior of a home when someone inside opened an upstairs window allowing whole-house contamination. The subsequent remediation cost a quarter-million dollars. I think the roofer made the right call.

    The question, as asked by Clint Eastwood is, “Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk?” The good news, depending on your perspective, is that this is a federal regulation and there is only one guy in charge of enforcement for five states, including Michigan. The bad news is every complaint must be investigated. Michigan has not adopted this federal rule as state law although ten other states have. If you’re in one of those ten, the EPA just gained an army of building inspectors. The fines for non-compliance can be up to $37,500.00.

    I’m pretty much a play-by-the-rules kind of guy. I don’t do that much general contracting anymore, but if I ink a deal, I expect both parties to know and obey the laws. I’m not naive enough to believe legal means fair. I may get pissed at myself for getting a speeding ticket, but I don’t blame the cop who issued it. I had an obligation to know the law whether or not it was posted and it’s the same thing here. If you get an economic smackdown from a savvy homeowner who knew the rules you should have known whether licensing or certification, don’t whine around me. I don’t want to hear it because you have been issued your warning.

    Furthermore, while a pain in the ass and an added business expense, these regulations are designed to stop lead poisoning, a completely preventable disease. Two of the funniest jokes told at the class were “Osama Bin Ladin died of lead poisoning” and “The EPA estimates these regulations add fifty dollars to the cost of each job.” Unfortunately the devastating effects of lead poisoning such as nerve damage and learning disabilities, especially on children under six, are no laughing matter. And for adult men if you can’t get it up, you may have too much lead in your pencil if you get my drift.

    Kowboy
    "I want no heaven for which I must give my reason; no happiness in exchange for my liberty, and no immortality that demands the surrender of my individuality. Better rot in the windowless tomb, to which there is no door but the red mouth of the pallid worm, than wear the jeweled collar of a god."

    Robert G. Ingersoll, "Individuality", 1873

  2. #2
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    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Either you're new here, you have another writing assignment due, or no one here has been interesting. You are aware of this forum, Kowboy?

    http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/f...splay.php?f=24
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Boston, MA
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    4,824

    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
    The EPA estimates these regulations add fifty dollars to the cost of each job.
    The only thing I can add is that EPA must have heard our nationwide outcry and has raised their estimate to $50 from the $37 it was at when I took the course. I guess they really are listening.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Somerset, NJ
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    744

    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
    The instructor told us of a roofer who had completed a fourteen-thousand dollar tear off and had a happy customer. (The rules apply to exteriors, only the footage goes up to twenty square feet disturbed.) The customer asked for a change order for soffit work. The roofer complied and didn’t think anything of the homeowner videotaping him working on the soffits. At collection, the homeowner drops the bomb. “You’re not Certified and if you don’t eat the fourteen large, I’m turning you in for contaminating my home.” The enraged roofer called his lawyer who told him he could fight it, but recommended he eat the fourteen. He did.
    I'd fight that one. There is no promise that the homeowner wouldn't turn him in anyway. I'd rather have $14,000 to help pay those bills that $0 and the same bills and lawsuits. Also, wouldn't the time to mention compliance be when you first start filming the "illegal" activity. I put that in quotes because if no one tested for lead, it might not be there.
    "American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest" --Richard Dawkins

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Michigan
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    7,535

    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by JayNos View Post
    I'd fight that one.
    Tough call. If the guy was that underhanded, he might plant some lead paint dust everywhere and call a lead inspector. Then you're looking at 6 figure remediation on top of EPA fines and possibly license action.

    Best not to get oneself into that pickle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Penfield,NY
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    22

    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    I do not believe the roofer story. If true then it is a perfect example of extortion. Extortion is a felony and the lawyer involved (if real) would know that.

    The story about abrading lead paint is also suspect.

    Not calling Kowboy a liar!
    The probable liar here would be the instructor.

    When I took the course the instructor told a few tall tales as well but nothing on the scale of those mentioned.

    I am certified but avoid any job that disturbs the 6 sq ft.
    I just do the paperwork on any house old enough (give them the pamphlet and get the reciept)
    Homeowners always tell me that I am the first one to mention the law.

    If I pull countertop there is very little paint disturbed. A knife line at the edge that touches paint and then at clean up a light scraping that might disturb 1/8" at that line. If the 1/8" disturbed was a line 96 feet long that would be 1 sq ft of paint disturbed.
    Last edited by Rich Palladino; 05-06-2011 at 02:57 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Palladino View Post

    I do not believe the roofer story. If true then it is a perfect example of extortion. Extortion is a felony and the lawyer involved (if real) would know that. The story about abrading lead paint is also suspect. Not calling Kowboy a liar! The probable liar here would be the instructor. When I took the course the instructor told a few tall tales as well but nothing on the scale of those mentioned.
    I'm wit choo.
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sterling Heights, MI
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    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    "The instructor told us of a roofer who had completed a fourteen-thousand dollar tear off and had a happy customer. (The rules apply to exteriors, only the footage goes up to twenty square feet disturbed.) The customer asked for a change order for soffit work. The roofer complied and didn’t think anything of the homeowner videotaping him working on the soffits. At collection, the homeowner drops the bomb. “You’re not Certified and if you don’t eat the fourteen large, I’m turning you in for contaminating my home.” The enraged roofer called his lawyer who told him he could fight it, but recommended he eat the fourteen. He did."

    Kowboy, we know this story is fictional because there ain't any lawyer on Earth that would pass up that easy money and tell the client to eat it.

    How is business in Lake Orion? It's been a long time since I rode through that area. I miss all the water that MI has to offer but I do love the warmth of the south. Today I drove by a farm that was growing corn on his "garden" plot. The corn was mostly "knee high", some was waist high. It reminded me of the ol' Michigan saying "knee high by the fourth of July". The difference between the two climates is amazing.

    I don't miss the ice and snow. I looked at the thermostat today and it read 67 and I was freezing LOL!

    About lead paint....What lead paint? I don't see any.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
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    634

    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Jim:

    Business has been up quite a bit last month or so. I can't figure it out. Last summer I was retired-not by choice. The cracks and chips I'm fixing were there last summer, but I'm just getting calls now. Pent-up demand?

    Joe
    "I want no heaven for which I must give my reason; no happiness in exchange for my liberty, and no immortality that demands the surrender of my individuality. Better rot in the windowless tomb, to which there is no door but the red mouth of the pallid worm, than wear the jeweled collar of a god."

    Robert G. Ingersoll, "Individuality", 1873

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by Overbuilders View Post
    Either you're new here, you have another writing assignment due, or no one here has been interesting. You are aware of this forum, Kowboy?

    http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/f...splay.php?f=24
    Overbuilders:

    I'm not new, no assignment due and most folks here are interesting. I was not aware of the other forum.

    Thanks,

    Kowboy
    "I want no heaven for which I must give my reason; no happiness in exchange for my liberty, and no immortality that demands the surrender of my individuality. Better rot in the windowless tomb, to which there is no door but the red mouth of the pallid worm, than wear the jeweled collar of a god."

    Robert G. Ingersoll, "Individuality", 1873

  11. #11
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    Default Re: EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
    Overbuilders:

    I'm not new, no assignment due and most folks here are interesting. I was not aware of the other forum.
    I know, I wasn't sure, and I agree. I figgered as much.
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

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