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Rhode Island Authorized to Implement the Lead Renovation Program

Release Date: 05/03/2010
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston—May 3, 2010) -- On April 20th of last month, the State of Rhode Island became the first New England state to receive authorization to administer and enforce EPA’s Lead Renovation Program (RRP). The program mandates that anyone receiving compensation for renovating, repairing and painting work in homes and child-occupied facilities built before1978 be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices by the state of Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island program will operate in lieu of EPA’s new RRP requirements that went into effect on April 22nd—allowing for greater local oversight. EPA's authorization of Rhode Island's program is based on a certification from Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch on March 4, 2010, and Governor Donald L. Carcieri on April 9, 2010, that the Rhode Island program is at least as protective as the EPA RRP program and provides adequate enforcement.

“Because we have so much older housing stock here in New England, protecting kids from exposure to lead-based paint is one of the most important things we can do,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England regional office. “Lead exposure is entirely preventable, and can cause permanent, serious, life-long problems. This rule is the next step in EPA’s goal to protect children from the hazards of lead-based paint.”

The RRP program mandates that contractors, property managers and others working for compensation, in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, must be trained and use lead-safe work practices. They are also required to provide the lead pamphlet “Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” to owners and occupants before starting renovation work.

Lead contaminated dust is the most significant source of lead exposure for children. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, development delays and behavioral problems in young children.

You can learn more about protecting your family from lead-based paint and EPA’s lead program at
http://www.epa.gov/lead or by contacting the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD (5323).

For more information about the new Rhode Island Program or to find a licensed
Lead Hazard Control Firm, call 401-222-5960 or visit www.health.ri.gov/lead.

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