What is the RRP Rule?
To minimize potential lead hazards from renovation or repair activities, Federal law requires contractors and other trades who work in pre-1978 housing and who might disturb painted surfaces to become Lead Certified Renovators by taking an RRP course to learn about using Lead Safe Work Practices. This law is known as the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), which became effective on April 22, 2010.
The rule applies to all jobs in pre-1978 Target Housing and child occupied facilities where more than 6 square feet per room or 20 square feet outside will be disturbed by workers who receive compensation.
Target Housing – is a house or apartment built before January 1, 1978 except for:
1) Zero bedroom units (like dorm rooms or studios)
2) housing officially designated for the elderly or the handicapped
3) housing that has been inspected and certified to be free of lead-based paint.
Child-Occupied Facility – is a building, or portion of a building, constructed prior to 1978, visited by the same child, 6 years of age or under, on at least 2 different days within any week, provided that each day’s visit lasts at least 3 hours, the combined weekly visit lasts at least 6 hours, and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours.
The RRP rule covers many trades: renovation, remodeling, painting, window replacement, plumbing, electrical work, heating, air-conditioning, demolition, as well as work performed in the carpentry and handyman trades. The rule also applies to persons working for rental property owners, schools, non-profits and government agencies.
Renovators must provide clients with the pamphlet called “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Provider and Schools” and get a signed receipt before beginning work. This is already in effect in terms of the PRE Program. The certified renovator or firm must maintain strict documentation to illustrate when and how these notifications were made. If the building is occupied by tenants, the renovator must ensure proper notification of individual tenants and post signs describing the location, scope and timing of the renovations to be done.
Individual Certification – A RRP Certified Renovator is required at each job site. Certification involves taking a 1-day class from an EPA Accredited Training Provider.
Firm Certification – In addition, each firm must also become RRP certified. (This includes owners of rental property.) Firms must submit an application and pay the EPA a fee ($300 – good for 5 years). While there is no training requirement for Firm Certification, at least one employee will need to be certified as a Certified Renovator.
3. Job-site Training:
Certified Renovators are required to train all non-certified workers at the job-site in Lead Safe Work Practices. Documentation of training must be recorded and retained. If Federal funds are used on the project, all workers need to be RRP Certified.
4.Test or Assume:
Certified Renovators are required to either TEST any paint that will be disturbed during work, before commencing work. Testing must be completed in terms of the RRP Rule and must be done by the Certified Renovator (using an EPA-approved Lead Test Kit) or a licensed Lead Inspector or Risk Assessor. Should the Certified Renovator decide not to test the paint, all painted surfaces must be ASSUMED to contain lead. If the renovator makes this assumption, Lead Safe Work Practices must be implemented.
5. Lead Safe Work Practices:
The RRP Rule requires that “Lead Safe Work Practices” be used when disturbing paint of more than 6 square feet per room inside or 20 square feet outside. These Quick Steps detail the basics;
Post warning signs outside the work area to restrict access and to define the work area.
Contain the work area to prevent dust and debris from leaving the containment area.
Contain, store, and remove renovation waste material safely to prevent release of dust.
Certified Renovator must supervise and train employees to perform the Lead Safe Work Practices.
Ensure forbidden work practices are not used. Forbidden practices include using a heat gun above 1100°, using a torch, and using machines such as power sander or plane unless attached to a HEPA vacuum. Certified HEPA vacuums are the only type of vacuum permitted under the RRP Rule.
After completing renovation work, clean the work area until no visible dust or debris remains. All clean up procedures must be supervised by a certified renovator.
Upon completion of the work, Certified Renovators are required to do a “cleaning verification” or dirty diaper test to make sure they have cleaned properly. The diaper is used to clean and then compared against the cleaning verification card provided to them during training. If the diaper is lighter than the verification card, the area is considered to be clean. This verification process is fairly controversial. Usually, State-Certified Lead Inspectors take clearance wipe samples for laboratory evaluation on most lead abatement work.
7. Record Keeping:
Records must be compiled and maintained by certified firms and renovators for all renovation work completed. At a minimum, the following records should be kept for at least three years:
Proof that owners and occupants have received the Renovate Right pamphlet;
Proof of attempts made to provide the pamphlet;
Scope of work reports and records;
Proof of Lead Safe Work Practices utilized during the project;
Certification of the Certified Renovator and Firm;
Proof of on-site worker training in Lead Safe Work Practices;
All Lead Tests performed before, during or after the project;
The purpose of record keeping is two-fold. Firstly to allow the EPA to conduct document and record keeping reviews. Secondly, by compiling these records, Renovators are ensuring their own compliance with the rule (Essentially if you keep the required records, you should have completed all steps necessary for compliance).
There are some exemptions to the RRP Rule:
Abatement: Full abatement activities conducted under lead abatement rules of the relevant State by State certified lead abatement contractors.
Minor Repair or Maintenance Activities: Activities that will, within a 30-day period, disturb less than 6 square feet per room for interior activities; or 20 square feet for exterior activities. This exemption does NOT apply to window replacement;
No Lead-Based Paint will be disturbed: As determined by a certified lead inspector or risk assessor; or the proper use of EPA-recognized test kit by a certified renovator.
Do-It-Yourself: Work performed by an owner on an owner-occupied residence.
Construction Date: The home or child occupied facility was built after 1978.
Elderly Housing: The property is used as housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities, unless any child who is less than 6 years of age resides or is expected to reside in such housing;
Zero Bedroom: The property is a zero-bedroom dwelling, such as a studio apartment;
No Compensation: The renovations are performed without compensation (Volunteers);
Opt-Out: A homeowner may also opt out of the required work practices by signing a waiver certifying that a child under age 6 or a pregnant woman does not occupy the property, and it is not a child-occupied facility. On May 6, 2010 the EPA removed the owner’s opt-out right from the rule; This becomes effective on July 6, 2010.
Emergency Renovations: In the case that renovations are for emergency or interim control purposes, interim controls are exempt only from advance information distribution requirements.
The EPA may review records and conduct site inspections to ensure Rule compliance. The EPA may assess penalties of up to $37,500 per violation, per day.
These are some Golden Rules to compliance:
(Certification) Get certified;
(Testing) Determine if the job involves Lead Based Paint;
(Notification) Provide “Renovate Right” to owners, tenants and occupants;
(Set Up) Set the work site up safely;
(Containment) Keep the dust and debris inside the work area;
(Protection) Protect yourself and others;
(Training) Ensure proper training for yourself and workers;
(Work Safe, Work Wet) Minimize the dust;
(Clean Up) Leave the work area clean;
(Clean Up) Clean it again;
(Disposal) Control the waste;
(Cleaning Verification) Verify work completion with cleaning verification procedure;
(Records) Document every step of every job;
(Maintain) Keep all records for 3 years;
Obtain free copies of “Renovate Right” by calling the National Lead Information Center at 1(800) 424-LEAD  or, download a copy from the Alchemy downloads page.