EPA law could be costly for those without lead safety certification

December 30, 2010 - Weakley County, TN --Think lead paint doesn’t affect your business? Think again.

A new rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that all renovation and repair contractors working in pre-1978 homes, schools, and day care centers who disrupt more than six square feet of lead paint are required to become EPA Certified in lead-safe work practices.

Contractors are required to take a one-day training course and firms must send a short application to the EPA. If not, they could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Those penalties could reach near $37,500 each day. 

Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said there is a simple reason for the new rule: protecting people’s health, especially children. 

“Childhood lead poisoning is a preventable disease, and our goal is to eliminate it,” said Owens. Many contractors think the issue of lead paint poisoning went away years ago, or that they are doing all that needs to be done to avoid it. But lead paint poisoning isn’t just about eating paint chips, and even contractors who think they are doing a good job may not be working in a lead-safe manner.  

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