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Mass RRP Takeover Causes Contractor Headaches and Confusion

  
  
  
  

The recent Massachusetts takeover (7/9/2010) of the EPA RRP Lead Law is causing widespread headaches and confusion among contractors in the state. We have spoke with many lumberyards and building officials who are not aware of the changes. Many still believe that the EPA Memo of 6/18/2010, delaying enforcement of fines, is still in effect in Massachusetts. This is not the case. When Mass Department of Safety took over the law this nullified the EPA extension in the state. Currently any contractor who works on pre-1978 properties, who is not certified, is non-compliant. This change has caught many with their pants down and exposed to fines and work stoppages if they are caught. I spoke with a lumberyard today and they were under the impression that contractors have until 12/31/2010 to obtain the training. The fact is in Mass contractors must be trained now.

The Mass RRP Law adds additional provisions on top of the EPA RRP regulation. The Mass Law changes the provision for Certified Renovators presence on the job during lead safe practices performance. Under the federal law, the CR could leave the job and delegate the lead safe work to his job site trained workers. Under the Mass Law this is disallowed. This change creates a scheduling nightmare for contractors who have several jobs running at the same time. Many contractors will need to train all their lead carpenters if they want to run multiple jobs from now on.

RRP Practices on a Collision Course with OSHA Safety Practices

Mass has brought OSHA issues to the forefront in its revised law. The EPA RRP sanctioned training mentions OSHA practices but does not delve into the conflicting regulations. Training focuses on the RRP and Certified Renovators are instructed to research, know and be responsible for OSHA regulations when performing renovations on pre-1978 properties. In a recent post from Shawn McCadden these OSHA vs RRP conflicts in Mass are well described. Contractors will likely need additonal training and assistance to make sure they do not violate OSHA regulations while performing the RRP lead safe practices. 

Certified Firm Application Nightmare

Contractors in Mass must now fill out a firm registration in the state of Mass different than the federal certified firm application. Contractors who fell for the 6/18/2010 EPA extension must now pay $375.00 to the state to be a certified firm. The federal certified firm application was $300.00. The new Mass Certified Firm Registration is only good for Massachusetts. If you are a contractor who works in other states you will need to also complete the federal certified firm application. The cost now will be $675.00 for a contractor that works in Massachusetts and New Hampshire or Massachusetts and Connecticut. OUCH!!!!!

Other factors causing contractor headaches 

On 7/7/2010 the Opt Out Clause was removed from the law. No longer can homeowners elect to forgo lead safe practices if there are no children or pregnant women in the property.

Contractors must now provide a copy of the lead safe practices used on a RRP project and give it to the homeowner after the job is done.

Lack of consumer education and resources to enforce the law across the board are constantly brought up in our trainings.

Stay tuned for additonal posts on the moving RRP landscape.

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