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 Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
To snitch or not to snitch, that is the question. Last week at the EMNARI dinner there was a discussion on the subject of contractors reporting illegal contractors to the authorities. This subject never fails to raise the volume of any conversation.
Legitimate, licensed, insured, RRP certified tax paying contractors want the EPA to start enforcing and fining illegal contractors now.
Today we learned about a Worcester property owner who has been indicted for violating Lead Paint Laws. Although this is not RRP enforcement it caught the attention of the DOS. Property owners who own rental units are listed by the EPA and Mass DOS as groups that need to comply with the lead safe practices described in the RRP Lead Law.
The low number of RRP Certified Firms proves that the EPA's efforts to bring contractors into RRP compliance is failing. RRP compliant contractors we speak with, from Mass, NH, Maine, R.I., Conn, Pa, and New York, are justifably concerned that they will have to compete against contractors who do not include the costs of RRP practices. Contractors tell me everyday that they are losing jobs to non compliant contractors including illegal aliens, laid off construction workers, moonlighting fireman, teachers and munincipal employees. Contractors tell us that the underground contracting community is growing larger because the RRP Law is pushing more contractors to work illegally. Consumers are telling contractors that they do not want to pay additional costs associated with RRP. Consumers already under economic pressures, are eager to hire illegal contractors and take their chances. Last week I was told by a remodeler that he lost 4 projects this month to contractors who are not RRP registered in the State of Massachusetts or with the EPA. These jobs are on properties built before 1900!
On 12/31/2010 the EPA RRP Certified Renovator deadline ends. All contractors, landlords, property maintenance personnel, sub contractors and those who work for compensation on pre 1978 homes must be certified. Anyone who is not trained must not offer to work or work on pre 1978 homes or they will be subject to fines from the EPA. Current fines are up to $37,500 per day per offense.
I was asked by a few contractors in a RRP training what part did our President play in the EPA RRP lead Rule. I came upon this great post and decided to re-post it in its entirety for all to read. This article by Mike Finley from ContractorTalk.com tells the story quite well. Notice how much was budgeted for enforcement.
When I met with the EPA earlier this year they said they expected that homeowners would report contractors who are not following the RRP Lead Law. The EPA believed that as homeowners become more aware from their advertising efforts they would begin to make the calls.
Contractors in our EPA RRP trainings are asking when is the EPA RRP Enforcement going to begin. Unfortunately the EPA does not have the manpower to do it. Most contractors would like to see the local building or code inspector enforce the RRP Law. The following article should provide some hope that help is on the way.