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Lead Paint Law

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. As of April 22, 2010, any contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow guidelines to prevent lead contamination.

In order to be EPA certified, contractors must be trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Certification entails taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow three simple procedures: Contain the work area, minimize dust and thoroughly clean up the area upon completion.

As of December 2008, all contractors working on any projects that would disturb lead-based paint is to provide owners and occupants of child care facilities and to any parent and guardian of children under the age of six that attend child care facilities built prior to 1978 the lead hazard information pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools which is available on the EPA website.

Remodelers, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades are affected by this new rule. Under the rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis. The requirements apply to renovation, repair or painting activities. The rule does not apply to minor maintenance or repair activities where less than six square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed in a room or where less then 20 square feet of lead-based paint is disturbed on the exterior. Window replacement is not minor maintenance or repair.

For more information about this new rule, please visit the EPA website.

Home Builders Will Be Required to Take Continuing Education

Governor Deval Patrick recently signed into legislation a bill that would require licensed contractors to take continuing education courses in order to be able to renew their licenses.

The legislation will enable the state Board of Building Regulations and Standards to develop the requirements and educational courses that will be necessary for homebuilders to take. An advisory committee of the board will determine how many hours of continuing education courses will be required for supervisors. These required educational courses are needed to keep builders abreast of all of the revisions and updates in building codes, as well as there is more emphasis on green building techniques.

We will keep you updated as information becomes available.