NMHC led a group of real estate organizations in filing an objection to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) November 4 proposal to withdraw two Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) concerning Property Management Companies (“PMCs”) and their compliance responsibilities under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (“RRP Rule”).
The stakeholder guidance in question dictates that Property Management Companies (PMCs) need not be registered as a Lead-safe Certified Firm under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule as long as they didn’t perform “covered RRP activities” on pre-1978 but rather hired certified firms who used certified workers to do “covered” activities. Should a PMC use staff to engage in “covered” activities that disturb six square feet of interior surfaces or 20 square feet exterior surfaces, the PMC would have to be certified and have worker training, record keeping requirements, etc.
NMHC and our industry allies have long been involved in the rulemaking process on this particular issue. As such, the coalition expressed disappointment that EPA failed to consult with the organizations prior to issuing this latest Notice. “Not only does [the Notice] ignore the statutory mandate to work together, but it also undermines the significant relationships that we have built together to protect the most vulnerable among us from lead exposure,” the letter reads. Further, the letter calls on the EPA to “expeditiously withdraw the Notice and consult with stakeholders to collaborate together on how to address the issues that EPA identified in the Notice.”
In its Federal Register announcement, the EPA states that PMCs have abused this exemption and have, themselves, engaged in covered activities without having been certified as a firm. While the EPA has ample authority under current law to pursue violations, the Agency is claiming that in addition to eliminating the PMC exemption, it must also expand the list of “triggering” duties in which a PMC would engage in—even if they don’t directly use their own workers to “disturb” LBP.
Performing these tasks would bring a PMC into a regulated posture: These expanded covered tasks go beyond actually disturbing lead-based paint and include managing activities related to soliciting and evaluating contractor bids; applying for permits, as appropriate; granting contractors access to the property; overseeing contractor work on the property; informing tenants of renovation activity; verifying completion of renovation activity; and remitting payment to the contractors.
NMHC has asked the EPA to respond to our comments by December 17 and will continue to monitor developments on this matter. Future advocacy efforts also include a meeting with the Small Business Administration (SBA).
- EPA Withdraws Agency Guidance Regarding Property Management Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
- Industry Coalition Comments on EPA’s “Withdrawal of Two Answers to Frequent Questions About Property Management Companies and the Toxic Substances Control Act Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule”
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