|Date: June 2, 2010|
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its Renovation, Repair and Painting rule. The new requirements go into effect on July 6, 2010. This post memo outlines the changes of interest to apartment firms, which are largely in the area of recordkeeping and reporting requirements. (A PDF version of our guidance is available here.) The amendment (75 FR 24802) is available at http://bit.ly/cyZdxr.
- Resident Notification: Renovation firms (including property maintenance staff) are now required to provide owners and the occupants of a building being renovated with a copy of records demonstrating compliance with the RRP training and work practice requirements. This information must be delivered along with the final invoice for the renovation, or within 30 days of the completion of the renovation, whichever is earlier. This notification can be accomplished through the use of EPA's "Sample Renovation Recordkeeping Checklist' (www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/samplechecklist.pdf). Firms may also develop their own forms or checklists as long as they include all of the required information.
For common area renovations, the renovation firm (or property maintenance staff) must provide the residents "of the affected housing units" with instructions on how to review or obtain this information from the renovation firm at no charge. These instructions must be included in the notice provided to each affected unit under 40 CFR 45.84(b)(2)(i) or on signs posted in the common areas under 40 CFR 745.84(b)(2)(ii). EPA further stipulates that this “information should be provided in a short, easily read checklist or other form."
- Cleaning Verification versus Clearance Testing: The RRP rule does not require clearance testing, but it does require cleaning verification once the work area has been cleaned up. Cleaning verification involves wiping horizontal surfaces with a moist cleaning cloth (i.e., a wet Swiffer) and comparing it to the EPA Cleaning Verification card. The wet cleaning cloth is then visually evaluated in comparison to an EPA-provided color sheet to determine whether the work area is clean. (See 40 CFR 745.85 or the "Clean Up and Verification" section of NMHC/NAA's RRP White Paper (www.nmhc.org/goto/5172) for additional details.)
Under the revised RRP, if a renovation firm or property maintenance staff elect to use a laboratory analysis of dust wipes (i.e., dust clearance testing) instead of using the simple "Swiffer" cleaning verification test, then the lab test results must be provided to both the occupant of the unit that was tested and the owner of the building. Property owners must maintain these reports since they are required to be disclosed under Section 1018 to future occupants of the specific unit and/or at time of sale of the property.
- Worker Training: The amendment makes minor modifications to the certification, accreditation and state authorization process. Under the RRP rule, renovators are certified for a five-year period. EPA has stated that any worker certified prior to April 22, 2009 will have a full five years of certification beginning on April 22, 2009, the effective date of the rule. Currently, training providers (instructors) complete a 16-hour course. EPA now believes that training instructors need only complete an eight-hour renovator or dust sampling technician training instead of a 16-hour or longer abatement course. States seeking to develop their own worker certification program under the RRP rule have been granted an additional two years to demonstrate to EPA that they meet the requirements of the RRP rule.
- Opt-Out: EPA has eliminated the original rule's “opt-out” provision for owner-occupied single-family properties; however, this is not materially relevant to apartment firms.