Again, this week I received numerous calls from contractors on how someone can report RRP violations to the EPA. The recent willingness of contractors seeking avenues to report violators is gaining momentum. Compliant contractors throughout New England and New York are frustrated with the lack of enforcement on non-compliant companies. They tell us that many consumers are opting for companies from the underground contracting.
Compliant contractors are complaining about the following groups;
1. Contractors who are non-complaint, uninsured, unlicensed
2. Non-licensed fireman, teachers and municipal workers
3. Illegal alien contractors and contractors who pick up illegals
4. Laid off union carpenters, electricians, plumbers
5. Consumers who hire the above
Unfortunately, until the EPA and states with delegated authority go out and prosecute the violators this will continue to impact the compliant contractor's success winning projects from consumers.
Information from the Boston EPA
Today, I spoke with EPA Region 1 (New England, Boston Headquarters) official Nancy Barmakian, asking for guidance on this important matter. She said in addition to their outreach efforts, they are actively pursuing any complaint and tip that they receive in their office. She also shared that if they cannot get out into the field to investigate a complaint that they will contact Code Enforcement in the area to assist with a site visit. The challenge is she said that they must receive tips and complaints that are timely and accurate. If they receive a complaint that involves complete disregard for RRP practices they will investigate, it is their obligation. If children are involved it will receive the highest priority. Again the key is they need to have accurate and timely information.
Following is the link to the EPA RRP tip/complaint form that any one can fill out. She also said they strongly discourage anyone falsely providing a complaint against a competitor.
Here is the link to the EPA tip/complaint form.
To speak with an EPA official in New England you may contact Eric Hall at 617-918-1638 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Mass contact Brian Wong, Mass Department of Occupational Safety; phone: 617-969-7177 x331. Email: email@example.com
In Rhode Island; Marty Tahakian, Rhode Island Department of Health, phone: 401-222-3613. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On another note, several contractors have asked me to be a conduit for reporting violators without divulging their identity. I am willing to do so provided the information about the violator is accurate and not an attempt to disparage a competitor. If you want assistance on reporting a project anonymously that is obviously in violation, you may contact me directly at 978-422-6354.