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.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
Legitimate, licensed, insured, RRP certified tax paying contractors want the EPA to start enforcing and fining illegal contractors now.
Recently a Boston landlord got nailed for $85,000 for not following the lead disclosure laws. In 2010, we saw the focus for EPA RRP training on contractors.
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 Thursday 12/16/2010 in Boston, the Mass Department of Occupational Safety will be meeting with the Division of Labor to discuss funding for their department for 2011. The DOL and DOS hearing is open to the public. I have been invited by the DOS to share thoughts and suggestions regarding the Mass RRP Lead Law.
EPA RRP Training requires that contractors comply with OSHA Laws governing lead safe practices. In the following slide from the EPA RRP Manual in Module 2, see OSHA followed by the bullet point; established worker protection standards.
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.
Last week was a busy week for The Contractor Coaching Partnership Workshop team. On Tuesday we had our 4th successful RRP Implementation Workshop in Westborough and on Thursday we had our first RRP/OSHA Respirator and Worker Protection Safety Program seminar.