Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

New EPA RRP Lead Program Rules

So now the government wants to regulate Lead paint removal, huh? I guess there just isn't enough work for them in the Gulf with the oil leak and all...right. Effective April 22, 2010 (Earth Day ironically enough) the EPA put into place very strict procedures that all renovators, including window replacement companies, must follow or be subject of fines of EXACTLY $37,500 per day! Hmmm, wonder what the meaning behind that number is? Oh well, I digress. Seems that the EPA wants to make sure that Window Replacement companies are held responsible if they circulate lead paint dust or particles into the homeowner's environment without cleaning it up properly. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea because Lead Paint has long been linked to developmental issues with children under the age of 6 and birth defects in pregnant women. But upon further review they have created a 3-headed monster that they will not be able to control. First, they cannot inspect companies effectively to hold negligent installers' feet to the flames. Second, they open the doors for home improvement companies to make this another profit stream when they overcharge unsuspecting or uneducated consumers with good 'ol price gauging. Finally, there is no provision if YOU, the homeowner decides to do this on their own. That's right you can tear your own home apart to your little old heart's content and no problem with the government at all. You can unknowingly expose your children and pregnant wife to the very thing that the rule was intended and designed to eliminate, The government at least tried to try Jack Kevorkian for helping people assist in suicide. Here they say "Go right ahead and kill yourself, we don't mind at all". The basic premise of the rule is simple and has 3 components:
1. Communicate to home owners what you are going to be doing and have them sign off on it.
2. Eliminate all dust and debris from leaving the work area by containing it and using safe practices while working in the area.
3. Clean up afterward in such a fashion that there no mess that could be left over for any of the occupants to have to deal with.

Most companies are charging beetween $50 & $125 per window installed or even a fixed percentage of the total of the sale of up to 10%-25%. The current Opt-Out program is going away very soon and all window replacements will be subject to this type of red tape, regardless of size or region of the country unless your house is built AFTER 1978. You can check out all of the details at the EPA's website http://www.epa.gov/lead/. So when you get the estimate from your local contractor and it is more than you thought it was going to be, remember that there is still even more in the cost that you never asked to HAVE TO PAY, but the EPA thinks you should pay for the changes that they think should be made. Perhaps they have a solution for th Gulf Oil issue, too...

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