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Remodeling and Painting Contractors across Nebraska to Receive Reminders about Lead Hazard Protection Rule

Release Date: 07/23/2009
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov


Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., July 23, 2009) - Remodeling contractors and painting contractors across Nebraska will soon receive courtesy reminders from EPA Region 7 about a federal rule aimed at protecting children from exposure to harmful lead dust generated during renovations, repairs and painting projects in child care facilities, schools and housing.

The rule, issued in April 2008 by EPA, requires contractors and construction professionals that work in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities to follow certain work practice standards to reduce potential exposures to dangerous levels of lead for children under age six.

Next week, EPA Region 7 will send informational postcards to approximately 1,200 remodeling and painting contractors in Nebraska. The postcards will remind contractors that as of April 2010, they must be trained and certified to follow the new federal rule. Renovation firms can apply for accreditation beginning in October 2009.

Covered professionals include home improvement contractors, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades. Paid contractors and in-house maintenance personnel alike are covered by the rule. The rule does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities affecting less than six square feet of lead-based paint in a room, or less than 20 square feet of lead-based paint on the exterior of a structure.

Prior to beginning renovation, repair or painting work in housing units built before 1978, contractors must provide owners and occupants with a copy of the pamphlet, "Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools."

Contractors performing work in common areas of multi-unit housing or in child-occupied facilities have two options to comply with the rule's information distribution requirements prior to beginning the work. They may either:

  • Provide individual copies of the "Renovate Right" pamphlet to all occupants of affected dwelling units, and parents of and guardians of children frequenting child-occupied facilities prior to the beginning of renovation, repair or painting projects in those facilities; or
  • During the renovation, post informational signs in areas or where they are likely to be seen by all occupants of affected units, or where they can be seen by parents and guardians of children who frequent the facilities. Signs must be accompanied by a posted copy of the "Renovate Right" pamphlet, or information about where to review a copy of the pamphlet, or directions for obtaining a copy of the pamphlet from the contractor at no cost.
Information to help contractors learn more about complying with the rule is available online at www.epa.gov/lead, by clicking on the "Renovator & Trainer Tool Box." Additional information is available by calling the National Lead Information Center, 1-800-424-LEAD (5323), or the EPA Region 7 Action Line, 1-800-223-0425.
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More information about lead poisoning prevention