CONTRACTOR CHAT: "I'm a Contractor, Not a Scientist!" - Let the EPA hear your voice!

The EPA requirements for RRP record-keeping (along with other mandated procedures) involved in Lead-Safe compliance have caused a lot of head-scratching and frustration in the renovation industry. Ordinary jobs like scraping paint on old siding trim have become more like laboratory work, complete with gloves, wipe tests, and ultra-decontamination (hazmat suits, HEPA vacs and respirators within a sealed environment.) The requirements to prevent the spread of lead dust are one thing, but completing the EPA paperwork compliance is another thing entirely. While the mission to protect the public from lead paint dust is simple and admirable, many contractors feel the EPA’s Lead-Safe Practices have placed unreasonable demands upon the contractor.  After all, we are contractors, not scientists or crime scene investigators. Many contractors I've talked with are overwhelmingly in favor of streamlining how RRP is performed and documented. Now may be the best time to voice out your opinions and help to effect change.  With this door open until March 28 to submit comments, it appears the EPA is willing to listen. (see John Jervis' informative article on this site, "RRP Paperwork Requirements Under Review by the EPA) Feel free to offer suggestions on this site in the comment box, but also submit your comments to the EPA.  Click here for a link on how to submit your comments. As contractors, we are the best resource to bring RRP real-world implementation problems to the attention of the EPA, and hopefully effect positive adjustments in the RPP regulations. My own comments to the EPA will provide constructive solutions, rather than just shooting down the current system.   I plan to include my experienced judgment and reality-based ideas, to address what I feel is lacking in the current RRP Rule. There are a few real-world situations I plan to note to support my viewpoint. If every contractor sent just one simple suggestion to help make the process more manageable, quite possibly it would develop into something we all could more easily comply with, and feel more like contractors than scientists.

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