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Remodelers and residential contractors; EPA LEAD Paint regulations

Posted by Mark Paskell on Mon, Dec 22, 2008 @ 05:30 PM

Recently a Contractor Talk.Com member referenced a new EPA fine assessed against a Massachusetts contractor. This new rule is another regulation to contend with. If you are residential remodeling contractor working on homes built before 1978 they are subject to the lead paint notification rule.

The article;

Release date: 09/22/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Sept. 22, 2008) - A Medford, Mass. residential renovation and construction contractor will pay a cash penalty of $63,832 for violating the federal lead paint disclosure law that applies to renovations of residential housing.

An EPA inspection found that M.F. Reynolds Inc. of Medford violated the federal Pre-Renovation Rulethat requires contractors to provide lead hazard information to 121 owners of pre-1978 residential property 60 days prior to the start of renovations. The requirement for contractors to notify residential customers about lead hazards prior to renovation work is recent. This case is the first pursued by EPA within New England, and is one of the first cases nationally.

Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. Contractors and renovators are required to provide an EPA pamphlet to residential customers 60 days prior to renovation work. The pamphlet provides information on the risks associated with lead-based paint and how to take measures to protect one's family from those risks during renovations or construction.

The existing housing stock in New England has thousands of older homes with lead paint. Our public officials are keenly aware that this lead paint rule may be another way to enforce compliance on obtaining permits. Building inspectors, state regulators, EPA and OSHA are all experiencing budget shortfalls and are looking for every opportunity to increase revenue.

Another point to consider is how this information can be used to differentiate your company in a positive way to help you win the confidence of an educated consumer. Educate yourself on the regulation and share this information with your prospects. This will confirm your expertness in the eyes of the homeowner. Then ask if they were educated by other remodeling contractors they are considering. If they say no, ask them if they are concerned that the other contractor didn't tell them about the lead paint rule. It may cast some doubt on the other guy and set you apart as the better company.

Finally, imagine if a homeowner hires you and discovers the rule while you are working on the house. Do you think it may present a possibility where the homeowner has doubt and can justify not paying you for avoiding the rule?

What are you doing to comply with the new lead paint regulations?

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Tags: lead paint, residential remodeling contractor, homeowners, contractor coaching