Apartment firms are reminded that new lead-based paint (LBP) Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) regulations go into effect on April 22.
The regulations, which cover subsidized and market-rate properties built before 1978, require apartment firms that engage in activities covered by the rule to become certified, train their employees on lead-safe work practices and/or employ certified contractors to perform renovation or repair work. Properties that have been found to be lead-free by a state-certified inspector are exempt.
Several members have contacted NMHC/NAA to report that regional EPA officials have stated that the federally approved testing protocol that has been in place under the Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (40 CFR Part 745.227) will not be sufficient to comply with the requirements of the RRP rule. Under existing protocol, state-certified inspectors follow a prescribed methodology to evaluate a property. They then prepare a report that either declares the property to be "lead-free" or identifies which specific surfaces contain LBP.
Regional EPA officials incorrectly opined that such testing, including tests resulting in a determination that a property is "lead free," would not be sufficient to determine whether a property is exempt from the requirements of the RRP rule. This interpretation would have far-reaching implications for many property owners and creates the potential for serious liability exposure.
Members are advised that that the testing protocols found in the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act remain appropriate for compliance purposes under the RRP rule. The EPA will be communicating directly with its regional offices to clarify this matter.
Additional information on the rule is available at www.nmhc.org/goto/RRP. Members with additional questions can contact Eileen Lee, NMHC's Vice President of Energy and Environmental Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.