In January when I met with Nancy Barmakian, Jim Bryson and Bob Carter of the Boston Region 1 EPA office I was asked if we could help them get in front of Building Inspectors in Mass. I was joined by Shawn McCadden and Greg Antonoili (EMNARI President).
This meeting was the start of dialog between the EPA and EMNARI, Shawn McCadden and The Contractor Coaching Partnership.
I am happy to report that a meeting has been secured for the purpose of bringing three parties together regarding the enforcement and administration of the EPA RRP Lead Rule which goes into effect on 4/22/2010.
This meeting is the monthly board meeting for the Mass Federation of Building Officials. I was invited by Robert Camacho, the current President, to come in and discuss the new RRP Lead Rule. I asked if I could bring the EPA and he gladly obliged.
In addition, the State of Mass is now applying to the EPA to administer and enforce the law under the supervision of the EPA. There is currently emergency legislation pending at the State House which will clear the way for the State of Mass to take over. Negotiations are underway with the EPA. The time table is not certain however the goal is to have it in place as soon as possible. The Department of Safety held a hearing on this matter two weeks ago in Shrewsbury, Mass. I was there with about 20 people.
The meeting on the 23rd will be attended by Shawn McCadden, The Contractor Coaching Partnership, Boston EPA officials, and officials form the Mass Department of Safety.
Our goal is to bring these parties together so that we can all work as a team to navigate the transition to full implementation of the RRP Lead Rule.
My personal goal is to lay the foundation which will lead to the building inspectors requiring EPA RRP Certification when obtaining permits to work on pre-1978 homes. I will ask the EPA and the State of Mass to help our local building officials with funding for increased staffing and administration. The current financial climate makes it difficult to expect building inspectors to absorb an additional responsibility without financial support. I will ask if there is grant money available to help. Mr. Camacho stated at the public hearing in Shrewsbury he would support the law provided that the building inspectors receive support. He stated without support and clear expectations it would not be reasonable to expect an overworked and understaffed inspector industry to be successful supporting the law.
Today, The Contractor Coaching Partnership finished training our 480th contractor on the EPA RRP Certified Renovator Course. Many have stated their concerns that they will have to compete with illegal contractors who fly under the radar. The three groups that are talked about are undocumented aliens, contractors who are unlicensed and uninsured and the most frequent our local municipal workers like fireman and teachers.
Our mission is to create a level playing field for legal contractors in every city, town and village in Massachusetts. It is time that we demand a level playing field for all legal contractors who play by the rules. The best person for carrying this out are the local building officials who know the contractors and citizens of their town. This grassroot effort needs everyone's support. Please join me and share your thoughts and I will make them known to these officials.
I will report the results of the meeting next week.
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