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Legitimate Contractors Want The EPA To Fine Illegal Contractors NOW!

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sun, Jan 09, 2011 @ 12:56 PM

Legitimate, licensed, insured, RRP certified tax paying contractors want the EPA to start enforcing and fining illegal contractors now.

                       EPA           EPA Certified Firm

RRP Trained Contractors call to ask what we can do to help level the playing field. We are involved in several movements to encourage RRP enforcement. We meet and speak regularly with EPA and Mass DOS officials to encourage enforcement. Recently, we joined the Mass Underground Task Force and the Government Affairs Committee at EMNARI. Although there are movements towards enforcement, to date both the EPA and Mass DOS have no actions to publicly report. Contractors are claiming that this is nothing but lip service. 

Contributing factors;

  1. Lack of funding for enforcement and administration for EPA offices.
  2. Lack of funding for educating contractors, landlords, homeowners, lumberyards, material suppliers, state licensing boards, building inspectors and other government agencies.
  3. No political appetite and backbone to prosecute and fine illegal contractors for not being RRP trained and certified.

Crying wolf syndrome; many contractors are saying the EPA is crying wolf and will never enforce this because they don't have the manpower. Contractors cite the extension of 6/18/2010 as a reason why the law will be repealed. We try to reason with contractors that although EPA resources are light right now, the EPA can enforce retroactively using the documentation provision within the Lead Rule. There are significant risks avoiding compliance.

The failure to bring more contractors into to compliance, educate homeowners and states has caused a huge disadvantage for legitimate contractors who have done the right thing. We have been told by contractors that homeowners are strongly objecting to any costs associated with RRP. These homeowners then go on to hire the illegal contractor or do the work themselves potentially causing a lead hazard for their own children. This scenario is forcing legitimate contractors to lose millions of dollars in business nationwide. Some legitimate contractors are choosing to not use the practices to win business to pay their bills.

One contractor suggested the time has come to demand that the EPA does their job and enforce this law to protect children, workers, and consumers as well as the rights of legitimate contractors.

At a recent NARI dinner meeting a contractor said " I have no problem doing the right thing. However, I see the rampant disregard for this law in my own town. I lost 5 good projects to illegal contractors. The consumers all said they didn't want to pay for RRP work. I think the EPA should either enforce and fine or they should repeal it!"

mark the coach

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Tags: mas dos, fines, rrp, epa, Enforcement