Yesterday in our NCHH RRP Training in Riverhead, New York a contractor asked; "will the EPA go after contractors who are not RRP Certified and Registered? Do you know of any illegal contractors who have been fined?
The answer is no. There have been no announced RRP enforcement actions against non RRP registered contractors that we know of. This contractor was very concerned that if he certifies his firm he will then be a target for enforcement. He asked how come the EPA is not getting illegally operating contractors off the street.
Today we received news that the EPA has fined a Springfield, Mass Landlord for failing to notify tenants about lead paint. Here is the press release from the EPA;
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office
May 3, 2011
Contact: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017Springfield, Mass. Landlord Fined for Failing to Notifiy Tenants about Lead Paint
(Boston, Mass. – May 3, 2011) – A landlord in Springfield, Mass., has agreed to pay $6,000 to settle EPA claims that tenants in a 99-unit building were not provided with information concerning lead paint, in violation of the federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements. These violations potentially put tenants at risk of exposure to lead-based paint hazards.
According to EPA’s New England office, the owners of 122 Chestnut LLC allegedly violated the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule on several occasions in 2007, 2008 and 2009 when they failed to disclose information about lead-based paint prior to leasing 10 apartments in the building. Specifically, 122 Chestnut LLC failed to provide a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home, to the tenants and failed to ensure that the contract to lease included a lead warning statement. According to EPA, the landlord also failed to include, as an attachment or within the lease, a list of records or reports regarding lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards or indicate that no such list exists. This action stems from a July 15, 2008 inspection of the property by EPA.
The Disclosure Rule is meant to give tenants adequate information about the risks associated with lead paint so that they can make informed decisions before signing a lease agreement.
This enforcement has nothing to do with RRP violations. Many recent enforcement announcements are for companies failing to disclose lead hazards prior to renting apartments. Many contractors are asking where is the enforcement of illegally operating contractors who are part of the underground economy? Legally operating companies fear now that they are registered they will be targeted by the EPA where those who are not registered will get off scott free. Some contractors are choosing to stay away from RRP certification because they believe that once they are in the EPA data base they will be known. Common knowledge in the industry is that EPA is not enforcing RRP practices and they do not have the resources.
Local building inspectors say they do not want anything to do with the RRP Lead Rule and still give out permits to non RRP certified contractors. Contractors think the law is not important or necessary because building inspectors are not behind it or asking for proof of certification.
The contractors in our class said they would rather do the right thing and become certified. They are disappointed to learn that the EPA has not fined non compliant contractors who are not registered for RRP. One contractor says "this is discrimination and an injustice to those who choose to play by the rules."
mark the coach
"one voice for the residential construction industry"