I searched the EPA website to see how many contractors had become Certified Firms with the EPA from Massachusetts. The search result showed there are just over 4,000 EPA Certified Firms in Massachusetts.
In July, the State of Massachusetts took over the law requiring contractors to certify with the state and not the EPA. Contractors who were EPA Certified before 7/9/2010 were grandfathered in as part of the Massachusetts agreement with the EPA. Mass contractors (who are certified firms before 7/9/2010) are required to fill out the Lead Safe Renovation Contractor Waiver Application and do not have to pay the $375.00 Mass certification fee. Contractors who applied after 7/9/2010 must fill out the Mass Lead Safe Renovation Contractor Application and pay the $375.00 fee. Unfortunately, for contractors who waited until 7/9/2010 the Mass application is only good in the state. If they want to work in states outside of Mass they must apply separately to the EPA and pay the 300.00 Certified Firm fee. Total $675.00 to work in Mass and EPA regulated states. Ouch!
Shawn McCadden and I went to the Division of Labor budget hearing in Boston and we discussed with attendees why so few Mass EPA Certified Firms have not completed the Mass Waiver application. The consensus as to why;
1. The application requires contractors with employees to submit an OSHA respiratory and worker protection plan with the application. Massachusetts has added the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard to the RRP Law. Most residential contractors have little or no experience with OSHA compliance. This is leading to hesitation from many contractors who are EPA Certified Firms as well as those who have not applied yet.
2. Contractors must prove that they are up to date on taxes, insurance, unemployment insurance and they must report all employees in the past year and ones currently on staff.
3. Contractors who were trained prior to Mass taking over the law have not discovered that they are required to apply separately in Massachusetts to become a Lead Safe Renovation Contractor.
Currently there are only a little over a thousand Mass Lead Safe Renovation Contractors who have obtained their Mass RRP Lead Safe Renovation Contractor License.
The DOS has its work cut out for 2011 to encourage more contractors to certify their firms.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership has notified all contractors we have trained on RRP. Some tell us they don't want to apply until they figure out the OSHA component on the Mass application. Some tell us they haven't got the money to apply and they will when work picks up this spring.
In response to this need we have started offering OSHA respirator workshops in addition to our EPA RRP Implementation Workshops.
(Our next implementation workshop in Mass is 2/9/2011 in Hyannis.)
In these workshops Shawn and I provide the guidance and help needed to assist contractors bridge the gap. Don't knock your head against the wall because it makes no sense. We are here to help you.
mark the coach
one voice for the residential construction industry